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Alastair Cook: 'I'm gutted'

Alastair Cook says he is "gutted" to have been left out of England's World Cup squad.

The Essex cricketer and former Bedfordshire schoolboy has been replaced by Eoin Morgan as captain.

"I am gutted to be left out of the World Cup squad, and it is likely to take me a while to get over the disappointment.

"That said I wish Peter, Eoin and the lads all the best for the World Cup.

"I would also like to thank all the players and fans who have supported me during my time as one-day captain."

– Alastair Cook

Cook dropped as captain for cricket World Cup

Alastair Cook during a one-day international in May. Credit: Tony Marshall/PA Wire.

Essex cricketer Alastair Cook has been replaced as England's World Cup captain - and will not feature at all in the team's 15-man squad.

The England and Wales Cricket ball confirmed the change on Saturday morning.

It follows the 29-year-old's poor form in one-day internationals over the past year - and an equally poor performance by his team.

A statement from the ECB said:

"ECB today announced that Eoin Morgan has replaced Alastair Cook as England one-day captain with immediate effect.

"England selectors met yesterday to pick a 15-man one-day squad for the tour to Australia and the ICC Cricket World Cup.

"Selectors recommended to managing director England cricket Paul Downton a change in captaincy which has now been approved by the ECB chairman."

– England and Wales Cricket Board

The board is due to announce its squad at 11am on Saturday.

Former Bedfordshire schoolboy Cook, who will turn 30 on Christmas Day, will continue as England Test captain.

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Vodka containing paint remover seized

Council Trading Standards officers have seized 166 bottles of counterfeit vodka from three Luton shops. Officers removed the Glen’s and Kommissar branded vodka from shop shelves after noticing the label on the bottle describing the substance as 'Botteled' rather than 'Bottled'. They then discovered the Kommissar products had fake duty paid labels.

Three samples tested by the public analyst contained dangerously high levels of isopropanol, commonly used as an industrial solvent, and butanol which is used in paint remover.

16-year old's snap wins RSPCA's young photography award

The winning picture taken by 16-year old Owen Hearn from Leighton Buzzard Credit: Owen Hearn

An image of a seal glistening in the morning sun has scooped first prize in the RSPCA's young photography competition.

16-year old Owen Hearn from Leighton Buzzard was named the overall winner of the RSPCA Young Photographers Awards 2014.

The picture was taken on the Norfolk coastline. Owen also won the 12 to 15-year old category for the same photograph.

Wildlife expert Chris Packham led the judging panel.

"It really stood out to the whole panel as soon as we saw it. Through this image he has really shown his talent and as fellow photographers we were jealous we hadn't taken the shot ourselves."

– Chris packham, Wildlife expert

All the winning photographs can be seen at www.rspca.uk/ypa

Emergency services braced for busiest weekend of the year

Emergency services are braced for what is expected to be the busiest weekend of the year as thousands of office parties take place.

Police and paramedics are putting on extra patrols in case things get out of hand.

A & E units are also drafting in more staff as already busy hospitals come under more pressure.

Click below to watch a report by ITV News Anglia's Sarah Cooper

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Ambulance crews prepare for 'Black Friday'

Ambulance crews gear up for 'Black Friday' Credit: ITV News Anglia

The number of calls to the East of England Ambulance service are up 11% compared to 2013 and that is before 'Black Friday' gets underway tonight.

Crews call the last Friday before Christmas 'Black Friday' as people make the most of what is for some, their last working day before Christmas.

There were 700 more callouts than average last Saturday and it's expected that figure will be exceeded tonight.

For special safety guidelines issued by the ambulance service. Click here.

New East Anglian ambulance chief sought

Anthony Marsh is to step down as interim Chief Executive of the East of England Ambulance Trust Credit: ITV News Anglia

The head of the East of England Ambulance Service is to step down in the coming months as the search for his sucessor begins less than a year after he started the job.

Anthony Marsh became interim Chief Executive of the Trust in January, tasked with improving ambulance response times. Also Chief Executive of the West Midlands Ambulance Service, he faced criticism over his quarter of a million pound salary.

His appointment was meant to last for up to two years, but the trust has already advertised for a replacement. Mr Marsh will stay until a successor is found.

Essex says cuts challenge will be tough

Essex County Council faces a £49m cut in government funding. Credit: ITV News Anglia

Essex County Council is facing the biggest cut in government funding in the Anglia region with nearly £49 million lopped off its budget.

Early assessments of the Local Government finance settlement, which sets out how much money each local authority will receive from the government in 2015/2016, indicate the Essex could be facing a cut of around 13 per cent on its funding.

“Every successive round of cuts makes the challenge harder. We have already secured so many efficiencies. We will continue to work creatively with our dedicated and innovative officers to find new solutions but make no mistake – it will be tough.”

– Cllr John Spence, Cabinet Member for Finance, Essex County Council
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