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Author Archive for Andy Bull

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ECB back on defensive over the Hundred after rap concert photo gaffe

• Website used crowd photo from a gig in Miami• Tournament to make its bow in summer 2020After months of bad PR for the Hundred, the ECB tried to get back on the front foot at Wednesday’s launch of the competition.The chief executive, Tom Harrison, adm…

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Good news for England’s Ashes bowlers as ECB sticks with 2018 Dukes ball

• New county ball will not be used in this summer’s Tests• More pronounced seam made batting difficult in 2018The England and Wales Cricket Board has confirmed that this year’s Tests will be played using a more bowler-friendly ball, one different to th…

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Moeen Ali injury could see Joe Denly bowl for England against Pakistan

• England coach Trevor Bayliss says Moeen rested as a precaution• Bayliss says Jofra Archer is ‘very skilful … he’s fitted in well’Three weeks out from the start of a World Cup England have spent four years planning for, there are still a couple of ope…

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Cas tried to provide a clear verdict on Caster Semenya but left a tangled mess | Andy Bull

The court of arbitration for sport may have come down on one side of the debate over the athlete but its ruling contained enough holes and caveats to mean the dispute will continueThe crux of the Caster Semenya ruling, the line that cuts a path through…

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Leadership failure at ECB leaves Alex Hales and England in a mess | Andy Bull

English cricket’s governing body is under immense pressure to host a successful World Cup and is wobbling under the loadHere is a line to keep in mind as we consider the whos, whats, whys and whens of the Alex Hales case. It is from Nathan Leamon’s rec…

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Like Bradman, Hobbs and Lara, Robert Percival’s record may never be broken

Wisden states the all-rounder once threw a cricket ball 140 yards and two feet, a distance that several tried to reach and none have been confirmed as betteringSome numbers are records fixed in the minds of every cricket fan. Bradman’s 99.94, Hobbs’s 1…

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A cricket coaching revolution is under way in Sussex – just press play | Andy Bull

Sussex academy director’s overhaul of the club’s youth cricket could change the way the game is taught in EnglandIn the indoor school at Hove a young Zimbabwean called Tawanda Muyeye is batting against three of Sussex’s best young spinners, Jack Carson…

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The life of a loser: what fuels our fascination with the defeated? | Andy Bull

They say that you find the best stories in the loser’s dressing room but discovering what defeat does to a champion is not easy topic to tackleThere are all different sorts of pauses, and in this business the worst is the one that starts every loser’s …

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Rebagliati’s free the weed campaign aims to show Wada ban is all to pot | Andy Bull

Moral and medical arguments for banning cannabis use in sport have fallen away and former Olympic snowboarder Ross Rebagliati wants the authorities to take noteIn the years after he gave up snowboarding, Ross Rebagliati tried selling real estate, runni…

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Keeping the Six Nations on free-to-air TV should not be up for debate | Andy Bull

If the unions need an insight into how important mainstream accessibility is, they’d do well to arrange a visit to Lord’sLate last week, back when the Irish still thought it might be a bright idea to irritate the Welsh by insisting they keep the roof o…

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Warren Gatland ready to ride Wales’ emotional wave for grand slam finale | Andy Bull

Welsh prepare to give everything for everyone as they look to sign off the Six Nations against Ireland with another grand slamIn the end it was the money-men who made Richard Burton give up rugby. The film company put a clause in his contract banning h…

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Georgia’s Rugby World Cup dream partly sown by a Llanelli punch-up | Andy Bull

In Moscow in 1957 Llanelli players were in a match marred by ‘hideous violence’. They could not have known their more silky skills would leave a lasting legacyOf course rugby has an old law about what goes on tour. Which is why, 62 years later, we can’…

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Ireland ring changes in bid to recapture their champion formula

• Joe Schmidt replaces six forwards in team to face France• 2018 champions have lost to England and toiled in RomeFive weeks into the Six Nations it seems Ireland are still looking for whatever it was they lost in that opening round defeat to England. …

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England kick Saracens questions into touch in bid to avoid distractions

Scrutiny of Saracens’ finances avoided in favour of Jamie George’s views on how England can put pressure on WalesWith two games of the Six Nations left and Wales two points ahead, England’s players and coaches were happy enough to talk about the off-fi…

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Not out yet: Chris Gayle and MS Dhoni rage against the dying of the light | Andy Bull

They may have differing styles but the veteran West Indies opener and the India wicketkeeper are proving their class and their longevity in recent inningsEven after four hundred-and-some years, cricket still has its mysteries, such as whether the weath…

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George Ford: ‘You do things in a game that you’ve never thought about’

Despite being left on the bench for England’s recent defeat by Wales, the fly-half wants to focus on what makes him uniqueThe day we meet, George Ford is in the papers. It’s not what he did, but what he didn’t do. The previous weekend England lost agai…

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Eddie Jones must do his doomsday prep if England are to win World Cup | Andy Bull

England missed some big guns in Cardiff but in modern rugby a fully fit squad is a dream scenario – Eddie Jones must copy Graham Henry’s 2011 All Blacks ‘What if?’ preparationIn the run-up to the 2011 World Cup, the All Blacks held a series of “What if…

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Eddie Jones finds a back-row trio who are singing from same song sheet | Andy Bull

The breakdown will be as vital as ever in Cardiff and England have uncovered two flankers who are prospering thereIn the beginning, Eddie Jones made it look easy. He had an idea what was wrong with England’s back row, had even explained the problem in …

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Welsh connection will not distract Billy Vunipola from England’s cause | Andy Bull

The No 8 lived in Wales as a child but says he is committed to helping England win their crucial Six Nations encounterPeople say love comes in different shapes and sizes, and in Wales on Saturday it will be 6ft 3in and 20st 7lb. Billy Vunipola says he …

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In an age of endless cricket Sri Lanka just gave us a special moment | Andy Bull

Kusal Perera’s and Oshada Fernando’s last-wicket stand of 78 to beat South Africa last weekend was one of the finest spectacles the game has produced in recent yearsLast Saturday in Christchurch, Martin Guptill thrashed a century for New Zealand in a o…