19-01-2019 Sri Lanka v England: Pick your England team for first Test

Who do you think should be in the England side for the first Test against Sri Lanka? Choose your XI and share it with your friends.

19-01-2019 The unapologetic feminism that turned Andy Murray into a global icon | Jacob Steinberg

Murray’s views on equality and the women’s game have had huge impact, exemplified by his decision to hire a female coach in Amélie Mauresmo in 2014Once the empty feeling subsides and the lump at the back of his throat stops threatening to leap from his mouth, perhaps it will console Andy Murray to consider how much he means to people from all walks of life. Even at this early stage of the healing process, with the emotions swirling and his heart shattered as he contemplates how brutally his body has given up on him in the past two years, it might raise his spirits to know he is showered with affection not only for his achievements on a tennis court but also for what he represents on a human level. Related: 'He’s an idol': Dunblane reacts to Andy Murray's impending retirement Continue reading...

19-01-2019 Jack Leach and Adil Rashid may become victims of England’s strength in depth

• Smith hopes to de-stigmatise omissions by rotating on the road• Moeen may be the solitary spinner with Root providing coverA handy indicator of a team’s strength can often be found on its bench and this should be a source of comfort for England come Wednesday’s first Test against West Indies when considering some of the names who may miss out.Over the course of the tourists’ four days of warm-up cricket against the Board President’s XI there have been clues as to which way Joe Root and Trevor Bayliss (as well as the recently arrived Ed Smith) are leaning and it could well see two key players from the victory in Sri Lanka – Jack Leach and Adil Rashid – mixing the drinks. Continue reading...

19-01-2019 Transfer window January 2019 – every deal from Europe's top five leagues

All the latest deals and club-by-club guides for the top divisions in England, Spain, Italy, France and Germany Continue reading...

19-01-2019 Marouane Fellaini: forever tainted as Old Trafford’s king of dark times | Barney Ronay

Through successive managerial eras at Manchester United the big Belgian has fronted up gamely but remained the embodiment of the post-Fergie wilderness yearsCarry on then, Marouane. After some suggestions this week that Marouane Fellaini might be on his way out of Old Trafford, Ole Gunnar Solskjær’s Friday press conference went the other way. Instead Solskjær offered what newspapers like to call “a vote of confidence” in the gangling Belgian utility-menace, talking up Fellaini’s continued presence through this, his sixth year as a Manchester United player.It isn’t hard to see why some said his time was up. Under Solskjær Fellaini has played three minutes in the Premier League. His basic footballing presence has seemed at odds with a more mobile, fluid style. Plus there is of course a wider symbolic aspect to all this. Continue reading...

19-01-2019 The Fiver | Pontificating about the Corinthian spirit of fair play

Sign up now! Sign up now! Sign up now? Sign up now!One of the few benefits of being related to this tea-timely email’s book-writing, cricket-playing, pyramid-inverting, tactics-obsessed Wearside cousin Mackem Lobanovskyi 4-2-3-1 False Nine Wilson Fiver, is that we’ve been looped in on the whole Marcelo Bielsa phenomenon since before it became fashionable on Wednesday. While Proper Journalists were taking time out from trying to procure and publish sneak previews of England team-sheets to pontificate about the Corinthian spirit of fair play, our cousin took time out of boring us with his batting average and bowling figures to regale us with stories about the man they call El Loco. Continue reading...

19-01-2019 UK Anti-Doping calls for independent review into World Anti-Doping Agency's handling of Russia crisis

UK anti-doping chiefs call for "robust changes" in order to rebuild trust in the World Anti-Doping Agency.

19-01-2019 Masters 2019: Best shots as Ronnie O'Sullivan beats Ryan Day

Watch five of the best shots from Ronnie O'Sullivan's 6-3 quarter-final victory over Welshman Ryan Day at the 2019 Masters.

19-01-2019 Gonzalo Higuaín to arrive in London for formalities of Chelsea loan move

• Striker will join initially for six months from Juventus• Maurizio Sarri also hopes to sign a midfielder this monthGonzalo Higuaín is expected in London over the next 48 hours to undertake a medical and complete the formalities of his move to Chelsea from Juventus, initially on a six-month loan, with Maurizio Sarri still keen for the striker to be joined by a midfielder at Stamford Bridge.Higuaín, who has spent the first half of the season on loan at Milan, has said his goodbyes to his Rossoneri teammates having pushed to be reunited with Sarri, under whose stewardship he scored 36 goals for Napoli in Serie A two seasons ago. Continue reading...

19-01-2019 Norwich sink Birmingham with early flurry to return to winning ways

Norwich moved back into second place and to within a point of Leeds at the top of the Championship last night after beating Birmingham in a match that featured an early flurry of goals. Related: The best young players in the Championship this season Continue reading...

19-01-2019 Arsenal’s era of austerity is not over yet: Emery must make do and mend | David Hytner

High wages, the lack of Champions League revenue and Kroenke’s parsimony are making the Gunners uncompetitiveIt was the news that Arsenal supporters had longed to hear and it was delivered with an uncharacteristic flourish by Ivan Gazidis. The date was 6 June 2013 and the club’s then chief executive told a group of journalists that Arsenal’s austerity era – necessitated by the move to Emirates Stadium in 2006 – was over. Related: Unai Emery says Arsenal can forget top four if they lose to Chelsea Continue reading...

19-01-2019 Chess: Magnus Carlsen halves 21 games in a row to set unwelcome record

The Norwegian managed to keep the No 1 ranking he has held for more than seven years, despite the long winless runIt will be a sore statistic with Magnus Carlsen for years to come. The world champion has just emerged from a run of 21 consecutive draws which threatened to derail his achievement of staying No 1 in the global rankings since July 2011.Carlsen halved his final five rounds at the European Club Cup in October, famously drew all 12 classical games in his world title match with Fabiano Caruana in November, then this week halved his first four rounds at Tata Steel Wijk aan Zee, where the international tournament continues this weekend and can be viewed online, with grandmaster and computer commentaries, from 12.30pm daily. Continue reading...

19-01-2019 Which football teams doctored their playing surface to hinder opponents? | The Knowledge

Plus: top-scoring defenders, non-league double delight and strange middle names. Mail us or tweet @TheKnowledge_GU“Pep Guardiola says he didn’t leave the Etihad grass long against Liverpool. But which teams or managers have used this tactic to help their own side or hinder an opponent?” asks George Jones.Let’s start with the Poundland Machiavelli, former Cambridge and Lincoln innovator John Beck. Everyone in football knows about the infamous Beck and the stunts he used to pull at Cambridge. He brought in statisticians to lecture his players about how few passes were needed to score. He had the grass grown several inches long in the corners to hold up the ball when his players knocked it over the top. During the week they would rough up the pitch so anybody who tried to play football against them was at a disadvantage. “We just used to boot it upfield, so it didn’t really matter to us,” Steve Claridge recalls in his autobiography. Continue reading...