Lancashire earn record profit

Lancashire have announced a record profit of more than three and a half million pounds for 2013, riding on the success of hosting an Ashes Test and completion of major stages of Old Trafford’s redevelopment.

Although the county remains in debt to the tune of £13m, the 2013 profit of £3.54m is a dramatic turnaround from just two years ago, when they recorded a crippling loss of £3.96m on the back of lengthy legal battles over the redevelopment of the ground. Lancashire’s previous record profit was £747,000 in 2006.

At the height of the long-running court cases, there were serious doubts about the future of the club as debt began to spiral out of control. At one point, in 2011, the players came close to not being paid. Read more

Time for Chennai to enter familiar cocoon

Match facts
Chennai v Punjab, Abu Dhabi Friday, April 18, 2014
Start time 1430 (1030 GMT, 1600 IST)

Big Picture

The clouds of controversy are swirling around Chennai, even as they are about to begin another season of the Indian T20 League. Time for them then, to embrace that “cocoon” of a familiar team environment around themselves. It is something their coach Stephen Fleming has spoken about, that despite all the uncertainties surrounding the franchise in the run-up to this season, getting together again has been soothing for him and his players. The environment is made still more familiar with the continuity Chennai have managed in their squad over the years, retaining more or less the same core group of players. And a leader who, in his seventh year as international captain and entering his seventh season as franchise captain, is still able to squeeze performances from himself and his players amid almost ever-present off-field drama. Read more

Kallis, aging but still agile

Long before Jacques Kallis’ frame had widened to its current dimensions, Navjot Sidhu was calling him Yak Kallis. It was an honest bit of mispronunciation, as well as an unintentional act of nominative determinism. It bestowed – if you believe in that sort of thing – imposing girth upon a man who already possessed the yak-like traits of forbearance, inscrutability and, at the crease, immovability.

On Wednesday evening, spectators on the grass banks on the western side of the Sheikh Zayed Stadium winced when Kallis fell over while trying to play a cute little scoop over his shoulder. They expected him to flatten the stumps, not realising from their square-on vantage that he had walked all the way across the crease. Kallis quickly got back on his feet. Plain old quick, without the garnish of ‘for a big man’. At that point, he was batting on 71 off 44 balls.

Later in the night, he would show further evidence of the athleticism that still resides in his heavyset, 38-year-old body with a low, diving catch at deep midwicket to end Rohit Sharma’s innings and Mumbai’s hopes of winning. Read more

Virat Kohli says Yuvraj Singh X-factor for RCB in IPL 7

Yuvraj Singh will be under pressure to justify his record Rs 14 Crore price tag when he plays for Royal Challengers Bangalore this season. In the company of Virat Kohli and Chris Gayle, Yuvraj will be in august company. RCB’s young and bubbly skipper Kohli is already saying Yuvraj will be his team’s X-factor this season. Bangalore play Delhi Daredevils on Day 2 of the Indian Premier League 2014 in Sharjah on Thursday evening. (Read this: RCB break bank for Yuvraj Singh)

“Yuvraj is very excited to go out there and perform for RCB this season and like he has been so many times in the past for India, I feel he is going be the X factor for RCB,” Kohli told reporters in Sharjah.

“He is very happy playing for RCB. He is very happy with the kind of environment in the squad. I think the aim of RCB has been to create a sort of environment where players can thrive and be at their best. So he is thoroughly loving it. We have a great support staff as well as very understanding people. It is very nice to have that relaxed environment and he is very happy being a part of this set up and I have spoken to him personally as well,” Kohli said. (Read this: Yuvraj Singh eyeing ‘return to top form’ after World T20 setback) Read more

IPL 7, DD vs RCB, Live cricket score: JP Duminy, Ross Taylor guide DD to 145/4 vs RCB

Dinesh Karthik-led Delhi Daredevils open their IPL 2014 campaign against Virat Kohli’s Royal Challengers Bangalore. Follow all live updates here (Scorecard | Summary)

21:39 IST: This has been a great recovery by Delhi Daredevils, who were in all sorts of trouble at 35/4, after being put in to bat by Royal Challengers Bangalore. JP Duminy (67 not out) and Ross Taylor (43 not out) added 110 runs for the fifth wicket as Delhi piled up 145/4, a strong score given the slowness of the surface. RCB have a strong batting line-up but they will be hard-pressed to get 146 on a pitch where the ball is turning and gripping. But watch out for Kohli, AB and Yuvraj. If these three get going, no score on any kind of pitch would seem out of reach.

21:37 IST: Dinda again, for the last over. What’s Kohli thinking here? He has been expensive and Albie Morkel and Aaron had one over left apiece. This move has allowed the Daredevils to get close to 140. Read more

IPL 7: RCB play hard and party hard too, says Vijay Mallya

Giving a pep talk to his players, Royal Challengers Bangalore owner Vijay Mallya on Wednesday expressed his desire to see RCB lift the Indian Premier League trophy this year. “It is up to you (RCBians). You can do it. You know you can do it. Just go do it, and we want to take that IPL-7 trophy in our hand this year, so good luck to all of you we have a great team, great atmosphere. We play hard and party hard too,” he told players in an interaction on RCB’s official website. (Also read: Srinivasan taking ‘unilateral’ decisions, ‘rebel’ BCCI members want emergency meeting)

RCB will kickstart their IPL-7 season when they take on Delhi Daredevils in Sharjah on Thursday. Before the interaction, Mallya was seen welcoming the players and other support staff, but he was seen warmly hugging RCB’s new face Yuvraj Singh, who came in for heavy flak for his scratchy innings in the T20 World Cup finals against Sri Lanka. (Related: Karthik to lead Delhi Daredevils) Read more

Michael Carberry: Hampshire batsman retains England hope

Michael Carberry has not given up hope of retaining his Test place, despite criticising the England management.

The opening batsman played all five Ashes Tests in Australia but questioned the England coaches and selectors after being left out of the subsequent one-day series and World Twenty20.

“In terms of where I stand with England, I’ve said what I’ve said and I stand by it,” he told BBC Radio Solent.Read more

Mick Newell has England head coach interview at Lord’s

Nottinghamshire’s Mick Newell has said he was interviewed for the vacant England head coach role on Wednesday.

Newell, 49, is understood to be one on a list of candidates including Lancashire coach Peter Moores and Sussex cricket manager Mark Robinson.

England have been without a head coach since Andy Flower quit in January. Read more

Lancashire announce record £3.5m profit for 2013

Lancashire have announced a record operating profit of £3.5m for the year ending December 2013, after posting a loss in the previous four years.

The club also doubled its revenue to more than £19m, helped by the return of Test cricket after a three-year gap.

“There are a raft of different reasons for it,” financial director Lee Morgan told BBC Radio Manchester.

“The biggest one is clearly getting Test cricket back to Emirates Old Trafford, and the Ashes in particular.” Read more

Patel shuns New Zealand approach

Jeetan Patel has declined an invitation from New Zealand to tour West Indies and committed himself to Warwickshire.

New Zealand are scheduled to play three Tests and two T20Is in the Caribbean from late May to the start of July.

While Patel, the 33-year-old off-spinner, might have a reasonable chance of forcing his way back into the New Zealand team on the spin-friendly Caribbean pitches, it would jeopardise his long-term relationship with Warwickshire if he were to leave them mid-season.

Patel has not played international cricket since January 2013 and has fallen behind younger men such as 21-year-old leg-spinner Ish Sodhi in the pecking order. 27-year-old off-spinner Mark Craig has been chosen in the squad to tour West Indies. Read more