How England’s first overseas tour since the beginning of the pandemic is shaping up

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International cricket continues its slow progression back to normality as England prepare to begin their first overseas tour since the game restarted in the summer.

Joe Root’s men begin a two match test series in Sri Lanka on 14 January having not played any red ball cricket in six months.

England’s squad in full looks like this: Joe Root (captain), Moeen Ali, James Anderson, Jonathan Bairstow, Dom Bess, Stuart Broad, Jos Buttler, Zak Crawley, Sam Curran, Ben Foakes, Dan Lawrence, Jack Leach, Dom Sibley, Olly Stone, Chris Woakes and Mark Wood.

Moeen Ali tested positive for coronavirus upon landing in Sri Lanka, but joined up with the squad on Wednesday. …


What we learned from the riots and how they brought about a fitting end to a controversial Presidential term

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Images of protesters storming a political building and demanding the overturning of a democratic decision don’t come around too often. A building previously thought impregnable to the public being overrun with ease feels like something fresh out of fiction but the truth is, it isn’t. This is real, and it is America in 2021.

Thousands of Donald Trump supporters broke through the capitol police to occupy parts of the building which is seen by millions as a symbol of democracy. Elected officials, who were inside the building ready to certify the result of November’s election, were forced into a lockdown to assure their own safety away from the protesters. …


How the legendary batsman is slowly bringing pride back to the Australian Cricket team after one of its darkest chapters

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When Cameron Bancroft pulled a tiny piece of sandpaper out of his pocket to tamper with the ball in the third test between South Africa and Australia in March 2018, he probably thought he’d gotten away with his attempt at match fixing. Unfortunately for him, it had been picked up by one of the many tv cameras in the Newlands Cricket Ground in Cape Town. whilst the impact of his actions wouldn’t be truly realised until the end of the days play, news of the scandal spread like wildfire around the world. …


Why this year’s world championship was the lockdown entertainment we all needed

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When Gerwyn Price landed the world championship winning dart, it brought to an end the most unusual of darts tournaments. This year’s PDC World Championship has been far from normal. With changing coronavirus lockdown restrictions, only the first night of the tournament saw fans allowed into the Alexandra Palace. It meant that fans would only get to watch the tournament from home. If there was any concern that the tournament would have less drama when it is behind closed doors, it was quickly forgotten about.

The tournament saw 20 players make their debuts in the biggest tournament in darts, and each brought with them their own style and charisma. By the time the semi final stage arrived, three of the four remaining players had never appeared in the final before. …


How journalists have helped to expose some of the biggest injustices in recent political history

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Across the history of the media, journalists have often been at the brunt of criticism from society. Whilst some instances are perhaps justifiable, most of the time the negativity isn’t necessary. Something that people who give journalists no credit will hate to hear is that the media is absolutely vital; and has helped to expose some of the biggest injustices in history.

The first and probably most go to example of this is the Watergate scandal. Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein put together the story which would lead to the beginning of the end of the Richard Nixon administration.

The Washington Post, the paper the paper worked for, were reluctant at first to run the story out of fear of the implications from the government. It started with a break in at the Watergate Hotel, and it ended in a watertight piece on how Nixon’s Republican Government spied on their Democratic rivals. It led to an impeachment brought to Nixon, and the President jumped before he was pushed by resigning. …


Why the UK’s withdrawal from this project could impact students for years to come if a fitting replacement isn’t found

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It was an ice cold evening in Stuttgart, Germany in the winter of 2017. I had left pre drinks at a friends flat and was stumbling over to the U-bahn stop for a train destined to the city centre. The drink was flowing and I was surrounded by people from all corners of Europe and further afield. This was one of just many nights out in a European city after many days at a European University made possible through the Erasmus programme; a programme which the UK will no longer be part of.

First and foremost, I’m aware that a similar programme is being discussed for UK students to take part in, although just how far along this is to happening remains to be seen at this point. …


Why a yearning for days gone by is holding back many within British society

When it comes to pining for days gone by, few nations do it more intensely and as frequently as Britain. Certain members of a generation have a longing for the ‘glory days’ of when Britannia ruled the waves and when ‘we won the war’ as well the days of simpler times in the 1960s, 70s and 80s. Where it may have been better for some people back then, the truth is that nostalgia can be dangerous and misleading.

Going back to the height of the British Empire is perhaps the most misleading period of history. Whilst colonial wars and the stealing of land was the name of the game overseas, millions back in Britain were living in abject poverty. The wealthy were enjoying the benefits of financial gain and travel to the newly globalized world, but the majority of Britons were toiling in dangerous, low paid jobs and barely made ends meet. …


A look back at a test match ten years ago which will live long in the memory of England fans everywhere

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The start of a Boxing Day test during an Ashes series is arguably one of the most highly anticipated in world cricket. On most occasions, the series is over as a contest. The fourth test at Melbourne, more often than not, has England already 3–0 down and out; but not in 2010.

The first day at Melbourne began with the 2010–11 Ashes series on a knife edge at 1–1. A determined display with the bat from Alistair Cook, Andrew Strauss and Jonathan Trott in the first test in Brisbane saved the match for the tourists was followed up with a thumping innings victory at Adelaide. …


How a game full of charisma and personality has dealt with 2020

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When you think of sports, darts is probably not the first to spring to mind. The game is one of skill and psychology, and comes with a lot of high pressure moments just like any sport, but there is plenty more to darts than this.

From smokey exhibition rooms in clubs and pubs to huge indoor arenas across the world, darts has exploded as a sport. Every player has their own nickname, colours and personality which fans can get behind. As my dad remarked, darts is a bit like wrestling for all these factors; except it’s not scripted.

Let’s take a minute to reflect on the nicknames. Which other sport in the world could one have boasted, or still boast, titles such as ‘Darth Maple’, ‘Superchin’ or ‘The Matchstick’? In a sport which relies on the charisma of the individual, it is so easy to get swept up in everything which players have to offer, both on and off the ockey. …


How the next step in coronavirus lockdown measures has added to the anger and confusion

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The next stage of the coronavirus restrictions have been confirmed and its fair to say most of the country is frustrated. When you look at the stats, its easy to see why.

The entire north east of England has been placed into tier 3, the strictest of the new set of restrictions. This is despite the area having a lower reproduction rate than London, which is in tier 2. If this doesn’t suggest a blatant disregard for areas away from the Westminster bubble, then nothing will.

The tier system has left people angry and confused, with one of the strangest areas being pubs. In tier 3, all pubs are closed except for takeaway services. In tier 2, you can have a drink but only with a substantial meal and tier one is free to just drink but only table service is allowed. The grey area of what a substantial meal is just the latest in a long line of confusing messages produced by the government. For some establishments, it could also be the difference between staying open and closing for good. …

About

Patrick Hollis

I am a journalist with an honours degree from Coventry University. Passionate writing about politics, culture, sport, society and more

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