Rob Steen

Sports writer and senior lecturer in sports journalism at the University of Brighton

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Fred Titmus hits a six

In praise of imperfection

Cricketers carry the baggage of having to be noble. But just how do you define nobility?

Jeetan Patel bowls

Is the County Championship anti-spin?

England's slow-bowling cupboard looks bare because of the tournament's spinner-unfriendly pitches and its sapping and lopsided schedule

Ben Stokes salutes the crowd after bowling England to the brink of Ashes victory

Does Stokes have it in him to lead?

He exudes authority but has the ability to remain one of the lads, which distinguishes him from the other worthy contenders to succeed Cook

The England players get together and celebrate their Ashes win

How about state funding for Tests?

Lord Patel's appointment to the ECB could bring the endangered format to the forefront, both financially and otherwise

The Oval general view

Here's looking at The Oval

The occasional Ashes dead rubber notwithstanding, there's something about this south London venue that inspires

Ian Bell made his 22nd Test hundred

Wanted: Ian Bell, sublime artist

Someone who repeatedly has to prove himself despite playing over a hundred Tests, his recent stats do not make for good reading. Here's hoping he has a bit of magic left in him