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Australia announce Ashes squad: Brad Haddin recalled as Mitchell Johnson and Ben Hilfenhaus miss out

Veteran Haddin recalled as Australia announce 16-man squad heading to England in bid to win back the Ashes

PUBLISHED:

02:22 GMT, 24 April 2013

|

UPDATED:

02:30 GMT, 24 April 2013

Wicketkeeper Brad Haddin has been named as Australia vice-captain for the upcoming Ashes series in England.

The 35-year-old replaces Shane Watson, who stepped down as Michael Clarke's deputy after the troubled tour on India but remains part of the 16-man squad.

National selector John Inverarity said: 'We feel it's important to have a senior, seasoned player support Michael at this time.

Return the Urn: Michael Clarke (centre), Steve Waugh (left) and Mark Taylor before today's squad unveiling

Return the Urn: Michael Clarke (centre), Steve Waugh (left) and Mark Taylor before today's squad unveiling

Key dates

June 26-29: v Somerset

July 2-5: v Worcs

July 10-14: 1st Test, Trent Bridge

July 18-22: 2nd Test, Lord's

July 26-28: v Sussex

August 1-5: 3rd Test, Old Trafford

August 9-13: 4th Test, Durham

August 16-17: v Northants

August 21-25: 5th Test, The Oval

'When Shane Watson advised of his
decision to stand down, the NSP (national selection panel) viewed Brad
as the exceptional candidate to step into this leadership void.'

Matthew Wade, who has been Australia's first-choice wicketkeeper of late, will also travel to England.

'Matthew Wade is a very good cricketer and remains central to our plans for the future,' Inverarity added.

Left-arm seamer James Faulkner is the only uncapped player to be named, with Mitchell Johnson missing out.

Chris Rogers, the 35-year-old batsman
who has just one Test cap to his name, also makes the squad and seamer
Ryan Harris returns.

'Chris Rogers is a hardened
first-class cricketer and has been given a deserved opportunity on the
back of sustained run-scoring in both Australia and England over many
seasons,' said Inverarity.

Eyes on the prize: Brad Haddin has been recalled to the Australia squad to tour England this summer

Eyes on the prize: Brad Haddin has been recalled to the Australia squad to tour England this summer

'James Faulkner has also been given
an opportunity after impressing in recent months as an all-rounder. His
performance in last month's Bupa Sheffield Shield final was compelling
and he has now produced three consistently good seasons with the ball at
Shield level for Tasmania.

'He is a player who is seldom out of the game for long. He takes wickets, forms partnerships and makes valuable runs.

'Ryan Harris has regained fitness and
it is great to have such a very highly regarded and well-performed pace
bowler back in the mix.'

Fawad Ahmed, the Pakistan-born
leg-spinner who has not yet received his Australian passport, has not
been included, leaving Nathan Lyon as the only spinner in the 16.

Ahmed also misses out on the 14-man
Australia A squad to tour the British Isles ahead of the Ashes, which
contains a number of players from the senior squad including Haddin, who
will captain the side, James Pattinson, Peter Siddle, Harris, Jackson
Bird and Nathan Lyon.

Steven Smith, who misses out on a
place in the Ashes squad despite some creditable performances in India,
is vice-captain of the A side.

Smith is one of five men to drop out
from the India squad – along with Johnson, Moises Henriques, Xavier
Doherty and Glenn Maxwell – which slipped to a 4-0 series defeat amid
high-profile problems with discipline.

Revenge: England were convincing 3-1 series winners in the 2010-11 series

Revenge: England were convincing 3-1 series winners in the 2010-11 series

Inverarity added: 'The tour to India was very demanding and a learning experience for all.

'The result was unacceptable and the
players, coaches, support staff and NSP are smarting from those
performances and are galvanised to ensure that we play tough,
competitive cricket throughout the Ashes.'

The first Ashes Test begins at Trent
Bridge on July 10, with two tour matches before that, while Australia A
will take on Scotland, Ireland and Gloucestershire, with the first match
getting under way in Edinburgh on June 7.

Lawrence Booth, Sportsmail cricket writer and editor of Wisden, gives a run down on the Australian squad heading to England for the Ashes series this summer

Michael Clarke

MICHAEL CLARKE (c)
AGE: 32
CAPS: 92
VERDICT: World cricket's in-form batsman in 2012, the captain will need to score three hundreds to give Australia a chance.

Brad Haddin

BRAD HADDIN (vc)
AGE: 35
CAPS: 44
VERDICT: Ousted by Wade behind the stumps, he's a spiky character who England would rather not have to deal with.

JACKSON BIRD

JACKSON BIRD
AGE: 26
CAPS: 2
VERDICT: Seam bowler who is not particularly fast but his ability to swing the ball both ways has proven very successful in domestic cricket.

Ed Cowan

ED COWAN
AGE: 30
CAPS: 17
VERDICT: Steady, cerebral left-handed opener, but unlikely to frighten the England attack.

Phillip Hughes

PHILLIP HUGHES
AGE: 24
CAPS: 24
VERDICT: England have exploited his vulnerability outside off stump in the past – expect more of the same, plus a peppering of short stuff.

David Warner

DAVID WARNER
AGE: 26
CAPS: 19
VERDICT: Another left-handed opener, he has the potential to destroy the opposition, but inconsistent at Test level. Jimmy Anderson will fancy swinging the ball into him.

Urn the victory: Former England captain Andrew Strauss led Eng;and to victory in the last series

Urn the victory: Former England captain Andrew Strauss led Eng;and to victory in the last series

James Faulkner

JAMES FAULKNER
AGE: 22
CAPS: 0
VERDICT: A left-arm seamer and hard-hitting batsman, the 22-year-old Faulkner is an outsider for a Test spot – but look out for him in the shorter stuff.

USMAN

USMAN KHAWAJA
AGE: 26
CAPS: 6
VERDICT: Left-handed top order batsman who was one of the four players dropped ahead of the third Test in India following a breach of discipline.

Shane Watson

SHANE WATSON
AGE: 31
CAPS: 41
VERDICT: Averaging only 25 since the start of 2011, he needs a big series to prove he was right to quit the vice-captaincy. Could do with bowling too.

Matthew Wade

MATTHEW WADE
AGE: 25
CAPS: 12
VERDICT: His batting can be punchy, but his glovework is shaky. And he's a place too high at No 6.

Nathan Lyon

NATHAN LYON
AGE: 25
CAPS: 22
VERDICT: Australia's first-choice spinner is tidy but unthreatening, and his confidence was knocked recently when he was dropped in India.

Ryan Harris

RYAN HARRIS
AGE: 33
CAPS: 12
VERDICT: Fast and hostile, as he showed when England lost at Perth in 2010-11. Only trouble is, he's rarely fit.

Home of cricket: The first Test in the five match series will take place at Lord's in north London

Home of cricket: The first Test in the five match series will take place at Lord's in north London

cHRIS rOGERS

CHRIS ROGERS
AGE: 35
CAPS: 1
VERDICT: Another left handed top order batsman whose one and only cap came against India in 2008. Played country cricket so is used to English conditions.

James Pattinson

JAMES PATTINSON
AGE: 22
CAPS: 10
VERDICT: Young, hungry, angry and highly talented. He will be the bowler England's batsmen fear most.

Rain on their parade: The Aussies will be hoping they have their own reasons to celebrate on English soil

Rain on their parade: The Aussies will be hoping they have their own Sprinkler Dance on English soil

Peter Siddle

PETER SIDDLE
AGE: 28
CAPS: 41
VERDICT: The workhorse of Australia's seam attack, he has improved hugely over the last year. But will he be bowled into the ground

Mitchell Starc

MITCHELL STARC
AGE: 23
CAPS: 9
VERDICT: Tall left-arm seamer who could be Australia's best chance of keeping Alastair Cook quiet. Can bat a bit too.

Romelu Lukaku racism case: Sunderland fan swears at cameras on way out of court

Sunderland fan accused of racist gesture at Lukaku swears as he leaves court

By
Tom Wilkinson, Press Association

PUBLISHED:

12:12 GMT, 22 April 2013

|

UPDATED:

12:35 GMT, 22 April 2013

The Sunderland fan who denies making a racist monkey gesture at Romelu Lukaku swore and threatened to spit at photographers after a court hearing on Monday.

Liam Jones, 21, of East Vines, Sunderland, was charged following an alleged incident in the stands of the Stadium of Light last November.

Offensive: Liam Jones swore at photographers and threatened to spit (below)

Offensive: Liam Jones swore at photographers and threatened to spit (below)

Liam Jones

West Brom striker Lukaku, on loan from Chelsea, scored a goal against the north-east club as his side won 4-2, and in the aftermath Jones allegedly made the gesture.

He was arrested after the match and was charged last month with racially aggravated harassment.

Sunderland Magistrates adjourned the case for trial on June 26.

Jones was granted bail on a number of conditions, including that he does not go within 300 metres of the Stadium of Light or 500m of St James’ Park – the home of rivals Newcastle – on match days.

Bail: Jones is not allowed near the Stadium of Light or St James' Park until the trial

Bail: Jones is not allowed near the Stadium of Light or St James' Park until the trial

John Terry does not know where he stands in Chelsea pecking order

I don't know where I stand any more, admits bit-part Chelsea skipper Terry

By
Andy James

PUBLISHED:

14:33 GMT, 18 April 2013

|

UPDATED:

17:01 GMT, 18 April 2013

John Terry insists he is fully fit and able to play up to three games a week – but he admits he does not know where he stands in the Chelsea pecking order any more.

A regular fixture for the Blues for over a decade, the former England captain has been in and out of the side since injuring his knee against Liverpool in November with David Luiz, Branislav Ivanovic and Gary Cahill all often being preferred in the centre of defence.

Interim manager Rafa Benitez left the
club captain on the bench for the entirety of the FA Cup semi-final
defeat by Manchester City on Sunday, but Terry says he has not and will
not complain if he is dropped.

Benched: John Terry (left) sat out the FA Cup semi-final defeat by Manchester City

Benched: John Terry (left) sat out the FA Cup semi-final defeat by Manchester City

Double salvo: Terry netted twice against Fulham on Wednesday night

Double salvo: Terry netted twice against Fulham on Wednesday night

The 32-year-old told the Evening Standard: 'With Gary coming back, I don’t know where that puts me in the pecking order. All I can do is train hard and, when I get a chance, play well.

'There are no complaints. If the manager is straight with me and tells me, that’s fine. I accept the rotation system. I can definitely play twice a week, three games a week if need be. I don’t know where that (doubt) arose from.

'I’m fit, I’m training every day and have been for the last three months, so I just want to set the record straight.

'I’m
available but, at the same time, if the manager chooses not to pick me,
there is not a problem because I’m Chelsea through and through and I
want nothing more than to get Champions League football.

'If
that means me playing, great, if not, I will be the biggest supporter
in the dressing room. It’s down to me to work hard and maybe prove him
(Benitez) wrong.'

Committed to the cause: Terry says he will not complain about sitting on the bench

Committed to the cause: Terry says he will not complain about sitting on the bench

Back of the net: Terry's headed brace at Craven Cottage took his goal tally for the season to six

Back of the net: Terry's headed brace at Craven Cottage took his goal tally for the season to six

Back of the net: Terry's headed brace at Craven Cottage took his goal tally for the season to six

Competition: David Luiz

Competition: David Luiz

Consistent: Gary Cahill

Consistent: Gary Cahill

Solid: Branislav Ivanovic

Solid: Branislav Ivanovic

JOHN TERRY UNDER RAFA BENITEZ

John Terry

Matches played: 13

Won: 7

Drawn: 2

Lost: 4

Goals: 5

Bookings: 1

Games not featured: 26

Alexander Kacaniklic recalled from loan spell at Burnley

Fulham recall Swedish international winger Kacaniklic from loan spell at Burnley

By
Andy James

PUBLISHED:

14:41 GMT, 18 April 2013

|

UPDATED:

14:41 GMT, 18 April 2013

Fulham have recalled winger Alexander Kacaniklic from a loan spell at Burnley.

The 21-year-old has made six appearances for the npower Championship outfit since joining them at the start of March.

Back at the Cottage: Kacaniklic has scored three goals for Fulham this season

Back at the Cottage: Kacaniklic has scored three goals for Fulham this season

However, Kacaniklic has now been recalled by Martin Jol and could be involved in this weekend's home clash with Arsenal.

The Sweden international has already appeared for Fulham 19 times this season, netting three goals.

Lionel Messi proves he is human after being foiled by a Japanese moving robot

Man v Machine: Messi proves he is human after all… as he is foiled by a Japanese moving robot

By
Andy James

PUBLISHED:

11:25 GMT, 8 April 2013

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UPDATED:

02:48 GMT, 9 April 2013

This might be the only way for managers to stop Lionel Messi in his tracks – by signing a Japanese goalkeeping robot.

Messi has been branded a killing machine after rattling in 57 goals this season.

His exploits have left managers in La Liga and throughout Europe tearing their hair out as just how to halt the Argentine striker.

Scroll down for video

Man v machine: Messi prepares to step up against the robot

Man v machine: Messi prepares to step up against the robot goalkeeper

Not spot on: Messi steps up for his penalty (above) and sees his spot-kick saved (below)

Not spot on: Messi steps up for his penalty (above) and sees his spot-kick saved (below)

Messi pen:

But the Barcelona frontman, considered by many as the game's greatest ever player, struggled when the man took on the machine in a game show broadcast on Japanese TV.

Messi took three penalties against the moving piece of cardboard – but missed his first two spot-kicks.

He is human after all then.

VIDEO Messi goes head-to-head with a robot in a penalty shoot-out

Messi takes on robot in penalty shoot-out

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Hillsborough anniversary: Liverpool and West Ham observe minute"s silence at Anfield

Solemn silence at Anfield as Liverpool mark the 24th anniversary of Hillsborough tragedy

By
Andy James

PUBLISHED:

10:50 GMT, 7 April 2013

|

UPDATED:

17:13 GMT, 7 April 2013

Liverpool paid an emotional tribute to the 96 fans who were tragically killed during the Hillsborough disaster ahead of their game with West Ham today.

The fixture is the Reds last home game before the 24th anniversary of the 1989 tragedy and there was a minute's silence impeccably observed by all supporters in attendance before kick-off.

Tribute: The Liverpool players line-up arm-in-arm for the minute's silence

Tribute: The Liverpool players line-up arm-in-arm for the minute's silence

Fans don't forget: Supporters with T-shirts in memory of the 96 who lost their lives

Fans don't forget: Supporters with T-shirts in memory of the 96 who lost their lives

Honour: West Ham's Liverpudlian captain Kevin Nolan paid tribute to the Hillsborough disaster victims

Honour: West Ham's Liverpudlian captain Kevin Nolan paid tribute to the Hillsborough disaster victims

The occasion was poignant to Liverpool-born West Ham captain Kevin Nolan.

Speaking before the game, Nolan said he believed it would be a chance to commemorate the success of the inquest into the disaster last year.

'We will honour the memory of the 96 innocent supporters that lost their lives,' he said.

'I have friends who were there that day, so it's going to be an emotional day because they have got the justice they deserved.

'We can commemorate it and the people who have worked so tirelessly to ensure justice was brought.'

Tribute: Anfield will hold a minute's silence before the clash between Liverpool and West Ham

Tribute: Anfield will hold a minute's silence before the clash between Liverpool and West Ham

Wilfried Bony West Ham transfer a possibility

West Ham move is a possibility, admits 12m-rated Ivorian striker Bony

By
Andy James

PUBLISHED:

07:05 GMT, 3 April 2013

|

UPDATED:

07:05 GMT, 3 April 2013


Prolific: Bony has scored 27 league goals this season

Prolific: Bony has scored 27 league goals this season

West Ham target Wilfried Bony has admitted that a summer move to Upton Park is 'a possibility'.

The 12million-rated Ivory Coast striker has scored 27 goals in just 25 games in the Dutch top flight for Vitesse Arnhem this season.

Bony's goalscoring exploits have attracted admiring glances from across Europe, and he has admitted that a move to the Premier League appeals to him.

‘If I go to England, that would be perfect because of the competition, atmosphere, though Germany and France also appeal,’ he told Metro.

International: Bony has netted six goals in 18 games for Ivory Coast

International: Bony has netted six goals in 18 games for Ivory Coast

When asked about West Ham's well-documented interest, Bony added: ‘I know only by hearsay, nothing is concrete, but [a move there] is certainly a possibility.’

Bony made his name playing for Sparta Prague before moving to Holland in January 2011.

Northampton approach Scarlets over move for Wales winger George North

Northampton approach Scarlets over move for Wales winger North

PUBLISHED:

20:22 GMT, 19 March 2013

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UPDATED:

20:23 GMT, 19 March 2013

George North's agent has revealed the Scarlets and Northampton are in talks over a possible move for the Wales winger.

The giant three-quarter has one year left on his contract with the west Wales region, and helped Wales retain their RBS 6 Nations crown with a record 30-3 victory over England in Cardiff.

The 20-year-old has previously been linked with a move to France, where several members of the current Wales squad ply their trade, but his agent, Christian Abt confirmed discussions are being held with the Saints.

Targeted: Wales international George North could join the Premiership

Targeted: Wales international George North could join the Premiership

He told the BBC: 'There has been an approach between the two clubs to discuss a possible transfer.'

'I don't think it will drag on too long,' he added.

'I think these things need to happen quite quickly if it's going to happen so that each party knows where they stand.

'It's counter-productive to sort of drag on and for the player as well to know where he will be, so ideally I'm sure it will resolve itself in the next couple of weeks.'

Six Nations winner: North is among Wales' key players

Six Nations winner: North is among Wales' key players

If a move is completed North, widely expected to feature on the British & Irish Lions tour of Australia, would become the latest Wales player to opt to play club rugby outside the principality.

Mike Phillips (Bayonne), James Hook (Perpignan), Luke Charteris (Perpignan), Aled Brew (Biarritz), Lee Byrne (Clermont) and Paul James (Bath) have already moved, while Jamie Roberts and Dan Lydiate are set to cross the Channel this summer.

The Scarlets said they would not discuss players' contracts publicly when contacted by Press Association Sport, while Northampton also declined to comment on Abt's remarks.

Button can conjure the spirit of 2009 to reclaim crown, says new F1 presenter Suzi Perry

Button can capture the spirit of 2009 to reclaim crown, says BBC's new F1 presenter Suzi Perry

By
Andy James

PUBLISHED:

15:36 GMT, 12 March 2013

|

UPDATED:

18:16 GMT, 12 March 2013

Suzi Perry, the new female face of the BBC’s Formula One coverage, believes Jenson Button can repeat the heroics of 2009 to land this season’s coveted crown.

Speaking to Top Gear magazine Perry – who spent 10 years covering MotoGP for the Beeb – expresses doubt over Lewis Hamilton’s chances of landing his second title in his first year after switching to Mercedes.

And she also reveals how James Hunt first attracted her to the sport.

In with a shout: Perry believes Button, in his McLaren above, can reclaim the crown he won in 2009

In with a shout: Perry believes Button, in his McLaren above, can reclaim the crown he won in 2009

Button

Suzi Perry

Driving seat: Perry (right) is the face of the BBC's F1 coverage after taking charge of the MotoGP for ten years

The season curtain raiser in Australia takes place in five days’ time and Perry believes the changes to the tyres this year could see Button land his second championship, but there are number of other, less-fancied, challengers in the frame.

She said: ‘They’re quite a young crop really, when you think that Jenson’s now the most experienced driver on the grid.

'Then you look at the changes in tyre tech, and you’d have to say it suits Jenson, with the softer compounds and wider window of opportunity.

Long shot: Perry feels Lewis Hamilton's switch to Mercedes may prove a stumbling block

Long shot: Perry feels Lewis Hamilton's switch to Mercedes may prove a stumbling block

'Isn’t this the best opportunity for him to go out there and singing ‘We Are the Champions’ like he did in 2009

Top Gear

‘I’ve met the Williams drivers, and it was fascinating looking at their body language. But, Bottas… hmm, there’s something about him.

'He’s got this real-life Action Man thing going on, which is quite cool, something steely. Definitely a dark horse.

‘He also has a lot of fans already, and his girlfriend’s an Olympic swimmer – together they’re like Posh ’n’ Becks.

She added: ‘When I interviewed him the other day, he basically said they’re working towards a long-term goal. Put yourself in his shoes: you’ve come through McLaren since karting days, and that’s all you’ve known.

'It was purely that existence, with so many strong characters around him, so it’s no wonder he wanted to spread his wings. In his own words, he wanted to grow.

‘I think realistically there’s going to be a major shock if he challenges for the title this year, but there could be race wins. Why not’

She added: ‘As a kid, I remember always having F1 on the telly, going right back to James Hunt – I was six when he won the world championship.

'I remember it quite clearly – my dad was really into it, and my mum probably fancied Hunt.

‘Mind you, fair play, he was pretty handsome. When I was in my twenties, I took my bike licence and had a lot of friends who were bikers, so we used to ride together. Then I started covering MotoGP.'

Handsome: Perry remembers James Hunt, pictured in 1976, as the reason she became interested in motor-racing

Handsome: Perry remembers James Hunt, pictured in 1976, as the reason she became interested in motor-racing

The full interview appears in the latest issue of BBC Top Gear magazine, on sale now.

Paul Lambert warns Andreas Weimann and Christian Benteke against leaving Aston Villa for a bigger club too soon

Do you want to sit in the reserves Lambert warns Weimann and Benteke against move to bigger club too soon

By
Neil Moxley

PUBLISHED:

15:29 GMT, 4 March 2013

|

UPDATED:

15:29 GMT, 4 March 2013

Paul Lambert has warned his young strike-force that the grass isn't always greener as he tries to persuade both Andreas Weimann and Christian Benteke to remain at Villa Park.

Villa face Manchester City tonight with two of the club's old boys, James Milner and Gareth Barry, likely to feature against their former club.

Both England midfielders left Villa when the financial bait from the current champions was set.

Crucial: Christian Benteke has led the line for Villa since joining from Genk last August

Crucial: Christian Benteke has led the line for Villa since joining from Genk last August

Talent: 21-year-old Andreas Weimann has scored 10 goals during his breakthrough season

Talent: 21-year-old Andreas Weimann has scored 10 goals during his breakthrough season

And now Lambert is facing a fight to keep hold of his two forwards.

Benteke has been linked with a move to Spurs and contract talks with Weimann are likely to resume only when the club's fate is known.

However, Lambert said that, given the duo's age and experience, they may be better off playing week in, week out, rather than becoming part of a squad.

'I think if you asked Gareth Barry and James Milner whether they enjoyed their time here, I'm pretty sure, without knowing them, that they would say they loved it.

'It was great for them. We are not necessarily a selling club. If someone gets more money somewhere else, then people will look at it.

'Everyone in this room would do the same.

'With Andy and Christian, you have to get into their heads and let them know what you think.

'The difference is those two are really young lads, I don’t know what age Gareth and James moved on, but those two are young.

'The thing is do they want to go to a side where they are sitting in the reserves and don’t get a shot at it'

Lambert's future plans to avoid drop have not been helped as it seems that Darren Bent will miss the next three weeks with a foot injury.

Bent has not been featuring ahead of Weimann or Benteke even when fit but the inclusion of an established international in Villa's match-day squad would be an obvious advantage.

'Darren is still struggling,' added Lambert. 'It is a little bit of a concern at the moment.'

James Milner

Gareth Barry

Return: James Milner and Gareth Barry both left Villa to join Manchester City