From the Back Pages, July 8: Alastair Cook drops Moeen Ali hint for first Ashes Test

From the back pages
From the back pages

Alastair Cook has ruled out the prospect of England starting the Ashes with two spin bowlers, leaving Moeen Ali and Adil Rashid to battle it out for one slot at Cardiff. (The Times)

Alastair Cook will captain in a bolder more aggressive style in a bid to regain the Ashes urn he lost in the traumatic 5-0 whitewash 18 months ago. With young attacking talent at his disposal in Ben Stokes, Joe Root and Jos Buttler, Cook believes he now has the personnel to enable him to be more hawkish in the field. (The Telegraph)

Manchester United are in advanced discussions with Torino about their right-sided defender Matteo Darmian. United are in need of a player who can play right-back after manager Louis van Gaal decided the Brazilian Rafael is not up to the job. It is understood that United have been negotiating with Torino over 25-year-old Darmian and are hopeful of reaching an agreement in the region of £11m. (Daily Mail)

NOVAK DJOKOVIC punched the air in delight and waved in relief to coach Boris Becker as he finally fought off the ferocious challenge of Kevin Anderson to claim his place in the quarter-finals. (The Express)

Serena Williams is two wins away from holding all four grand slam titles – however much she hates thinking about the prospect of repeating her special achievement of 12 years ago – and, with chilling inevitability, it was her friend Victoria Azarenka who served as a stepping stone, albeit a noble one in defeat. (The Guardian)

A young cricketer has tragically died after being hit in the chest by a ball in Long Dittonon Sunday, reports GetSurrey. Bavalan Pathmanathan, 24, was struck by the ball while batting for Hersham-based Manipay Parish Sports Club at Long Ditton Recreation Ground during a Division Three match of the British Tamils Cricket League (BTCL). (The Mirror)

Australian Olympic great Dawn Fraser has apologised “unreservedly” after making a racially motivated comment live on TV regarding Nick Krygios and Bernard Tomic’s Wimbledon appearances, just hours after standing by her comments. (The Independent)

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