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Cricket: Flower slams 'ultimatum' talk over Pietersen

Coach Andy Flower on Wednesday dismissed reports that he issued an ultimatum to England cricket chiefs over misfiring star batsman Kevin Pietersen as "totally inaccurate". English media said Flower was ready to quit unless he was given guarantees that the polarising batsman would not be selected to play under him in the fallout following the 5-0 Ashes series humiliation at the hands of Australia.

Cricket: Pietersen eager to regain Ashes

Kevin Pietersen has insisted he has no intention of retiring and is determined to help England regain the Ashes next year. Pietersen's future has been under the spotlight during England's recent 5-0 Ashes series thrashing in Australia, with the 33-year-old star batsman managing a total of only 294 runs in the five tests at an average of under 30.

Cricket: Pietersen eager to regain Ashes

Kevin Pietersen has insisted he has no intention of retiring and is determined to help England regain the Ashes next year. Pietersen's future has been under the spotlight during England's recent 5-0 Ashes series thrashing in Australia, with the 33-year-old star batsman managing a total of only 294 runs in the five tests at an average of under 30.

Cricket: More pain to come for shattered England, says Flower

Coach Andy Flower warned Monday there was more pain to come in the wake of England's Ashes series meltdown in Australia. Australia completed a 5-0 clean sweep on Sunday, routing the hapless tourists for 166 off just 31.4 overs to carry off a 281-run victory in three days in the Sydney Test. Such was the magnitude of the series defeat that major ramifications are expected for English cricket, just months after they beat Australia 3-0 in England.

Cricket: Cook 'right man' to rebuild shattered England

Captain Alastair Cook said Sunday he knows what it takes to rebuild shattered England from the rubble of their 5-0 Ashes series humiliation against Australia. The abject tourists collapsed all out for 166 off just 31.4 overs and in 147 minutes to go down by a whopping 281 runs to the dominant Australians in the final Sydney Test. The crushing defeat -- with more than two days to spare after winning the toss and sending Australia in to bat -- is expected to have major ramifications for English cricket just months after they beat Australia 3-0 in England.

Cricket: ECB chief backs Flower, Cook amid Ashes gloom

The England and Wales Cricket Board's chief executive, David Collier, has backed England team director Andy Flower and captain Alastair Cook despite the looming prospect of an Ashes whitewash. England were left on the brink of a humiliating 5-0 series defeat on Saturday after Australia dominated the second day of the final Test in Sydney to establish a 311-run lead. Flower has come under scrutiny in the British media during the series, but Collier believes that he remains the best man to lead England forward.

Cricket: Gooch backs Cook to help rebuild England team

Under-fire skipper Alastair Cook should remain and become part of England's team rebuilding in the wake of their Ashes series humiliation, former captain Graham Gooch said Saturday. The tourists are staring at another heavy defeat and a 5-0 series whitewash in the final Sydney Test after a first innings capitulation and trailing Australia by 311 runs with six wickets intact at the end of day two.

Cricket: Dismal England reeling as wickets tumble

Struggling England suffered yet another top-order collapse against Australia on the second day of the final Ashes Test on Saturday as they slip towards a humiliating 5-0 series defeat. The beleaguered tourists lost Alastair Cook to the second ball of the day when the skipper, who did not offer a shot, was trapped leg before wicket by Ryan Harris for seven.

Cricket: Rankin hamstrung in Test debut

England's Boyd Rankin had a horror Test debut with a hamstring injury forcing him from the field twice in the final Ashes Test against Australia on Friday. The giant Irish-born paceman could only send down 8.2 overs before he limped from the Sydney cricket ground late in the opening day. Rankin, 29, who replaced Tim Bresnan in one of three English changes from the side beaten by eight wickets in the fourth Melbourne Test, bowled one ball in his ninth over before he came off for treatment before tea.

McIlroy rings in the New Year with Wozniacki engagement

SYDNEY (Reuters) - Rory McIlroy and his tennis-playing girlfriend Caroline Wozniacki started the New Year with a bang on Wednesday by announcing their engagement on Twitter. "Happy New Year everyone! I have a feeling it's going to be a great year!! My first victory of 2014 #shesaidyes!!," golfer McIlroy, who rang in the New Year with Wozniacki in Sydney, wrote.
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