Gidman gearing up for brother battle

By Callum Dent

The release of the 2015 domestic cricket fixtures at 10.30am tomorrow will be met with great anticipation in the Gidman household.

Brothers Will and Alex’s four-year spell as Gloucestershire team-mates ended at the climax of the 2014 season after the pair opted to leave the Bristol County Ground in favour of moves to Nottinghamshire and Worcestershire respectively.

And the latter’s promotion sees the siblings go head-to-head in LV= County Championship Division One next term, as well as in the NatWest T20 Blast North Group.

Time for talk is over – Cook

By Matt Somerford

Skipper Alastair Cook knows his side must turn words into actions when they begin their World Cup winter in earnest against Sri Lanka tomorrow.

England will return to competitive action for the first time in almost 12 weeks when they begin the seven-match one-day international series at the R Premadasa Stadium in Colombo.

During the time away from the international spotlight, preparations have been cast for a winter that will focus solely on the 50-over game and the World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.

Vettori comes in from the cold

New Zealand have given a surprise recall to veteran spinner Daniel Vettori ahead of the third and final Test against Pakistan in Sharjah.

The 35-year-old has played 112 Tests and is his country’s second highest wicket-taker of all-time – behind Sir Richard Hadlee – with 360 scalps, but his last appearance in the longest format came in July 2012.

Rain frustrates England

England’s second and final warm-up match on their tour of Sri Lanka was abandoned without a ball bowled after heavy morning rain at the P Sara Oval in Colombo.

The square and surrounds were still under full cover an hour after the scheduled start against Sri Lanka A, with more rain falling and the outfield already saturated.

There was briefly some hope, after the rain eased, that a reduced-overs match could be staged but even that proved too optimistic and the game was called off around 1.10pm (7.40am GMT).

Finn keen to prove his value

Steven Finn has a simple plan during this World Cup winter – take as many wickets as possible.

It is perhaps an understandable philosophy following a difficult 12 months that has seen the tall quick have to re-evaluate his game and fight to regain his England place.

Finn left the tour of Australia last winter early, after failing to play a competitive match, but could yet return Down Under for the World Cup in two months’ time.