Joe Root

The Ashes: Day 1 in pictures

The weather was glorious. Thousands of fans packed into the ground. England won the toss, chose to bat first - and they were off.

What are the Ashes?

The Ashes are coming to town for the first time in their history. But what are they and why do they matter?

Live updates

Cricket: Durham complete Sussex victory

Durham have wrapped up their second consecutive win in cricket's County Championship.

It took less than three overs on the final morning for Chris Rushworth to claim the final Sussex wicket, Lewis Hatchet, and wrap up an impressive victory by 309 runs.

The reigning County Champions have moved up to 4th place in the Division One table.

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Sangakkara joins Durham for next two games

Sri Lankan batsman Kumar Sangakkara has joined Durham for the club's next two County Championship matches.

The 36-year-old, currently ranked as the second best batsman in the world, will feature for the County Champions against Yorkshire and Sussex before linking up with Sri Lanka for their series against England.

Sangakkara was unveiled at a press conference earlier. Watch it here:

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Cricketer Ian 'Beefy' Botham opens new medical research centre on Teesside

Sir Ian Botham has opened a new medical research centre at the Darlington Memorial Hospital.

The £285,000 facility is designed to help scientists look at a range of conditions, including cancer and diabetes. It has been funded by profits from research already carried out in the region.

Sir Ian, who is famous for doing charity walks to raise money for research into treating leukaemia, said getting involved with the new research centre was an easy decision.

Australian cricketer John Hastings joins Durham

Cricket's county champions Durham have announced Australian bowling all-rounder John Hastings as their overseas signing for this season.

John Hastings
John Hastings for Australia celebrates dismissing England's Kevin Pietersen during a One Day International in January 2011 Credit: Gareth Copley/PA

The 28-year-old, who has represented his country 15 times in all three formats, will join the North East side following his stint with Indian Premier League side the Chennai Super Kings.

Durham first-team coach Jon Lewis said: "We are excited about the arrival of John, he is skilful with the ball and can also contribute well with the bat.

"He will be a strong addition with the red and white ball and we look forward to welcoming him to Durham."

Cricketers swap bats for bikes for charity ride

A group of cricketers have set off on a gruelling tour of some of England's famous cricket grounds.

They left Chester-le-Street early this morning on their 441-mile trip.

The group first travelled to Headingly in Leeds, before heading to Old Trafford in Manchester, Trent Bridge in Nottingham, Derby's County Ground, Leicester's Grace Road, Wantage Road in Northampton.

They will finish at Lords, in London on Wednesday.

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