Highways England is advising drivers to take care and be prepared for strong gales throughout the day as the tail end of Hurricane Ophelia moves north and eastwards across the country.
Motorists, particularly those driving high-sided HGVS, caravans and motorcycles, are advised to check the weather and driving conditions before setting out on journeys and pay particular attention to exposed locations such as coastal and high lying areas and bridges which could be affected by the high winds.
Wind speeds across the South West region are currently between 30mph and 40mph but the Met Office is anticipating gusts of between 40 to 50mph on high areas, sweeping up from the region to the north from 3pm until 10pm
Christian Morgan, Operations Manager in Highways England's South West region, said: "We're encouraging drivers to check the latest weather and travel conditions before setting off on journeys.
"In high winds, there's a particular risk to lorries, caravans and motorbikes so we'd advise drivers of these vehicles to slow down.
"Drivers of other vehicles should be aware of sudden gusts of wind, and give high-sided vehicles, caravans, and motorbikes plenty of space. In the event of persistent high winds we may need to close bridges to traffic for a period, so please be alert for warnings of closures and follow signed diversion routes."
Unladen curtain-sided vehicles are particularly vulnerable to windy conditions on high ground, such as parts of the South West, particularly around Bodmin on the A30 in Cornwall.
And Mr Morgan added: "Curtains on empty high-sided vehicles can act as sails when closed, and when high winds arise, we advise HGV drivers to open their curtain-sided vehicles if they are empty."
A Freight Transport Association advisory states "When driving an empty curtain-sided vehicle, tie both curtain sides at one end of the vehicle to reduce the effect of side winds".
HGV drivers are advised by the DVSA to check load security as part of their daily walkaround check. Further details of the walk around check can be found on GOV.UK.
Road users are being advised to follow messages on any overhead signs and listen to radio updates. Further information can be found by visiting www.trafficengland.com or calling the Highways England Information Line on 0300 123 5000.
More advice on driving in windy weather is available from the met office.
Footage has emerged of England Vice Captain Stokes throwing punches at two men in Bristol
England test vice-captain Ben Stokes and One-day international team mate Alex Hales have been told that will not be selected until further notice, following footage which has emerged showing Ben Stokes punching two men.
The pair will not be considered by England to represent the country in International cricket until further notice.
The England stars were both involved in an ugly incident outside a Bristol nightclub in the early hours of Monday, as they were out celebrating their victory over the West Indies earlier in the day.
Stokes 26, was arrested on suspicion of causing actual bodily harm, with video footage later being released which appears to show the All-rounder and Vice-captain throw punches repeatedly at two men.
Despite this Stokes was still named in England’s Ashes squad which is due to tour Australia from November. The all-rounder is regarded as a crucial hope to England’s chances with his impact on the side irreplaceable, whether he does make the trip is now in serious jeopardy.
England one-day opener Alex Hales who was with Stokes at the time of this incident, will also miss the final one day international against the West Indies like Stokes. The pair missed Wednesday’s victory of the West Indies.
Hales voluntarily returned to Bristol on Tuesday to provide further evidence to police about the incident.
The England Wales Cricket Board (ECB), announced that it is investigating the pair and won’t consider selecting them after the governing body viewed footage from the incident.
They have put no timeframe on their potential availability, with the first test against Australia in Brisbane on 23 November, Hales wasn’t named in this squad.
Stokes is renowned for his hostile and fiery temper on the field, with his maverick performances in the last few years seen him gain international acclaim and recognition including a huge IPL deal worth £1.7million and the most expensive overseas player In IPL history with The Rising Pune Supergiants.
He is said to be ‘devastated and fragile’ following this incident and has apologised to the ECB. Incidentally Stokes is said to have fractured a finger in this incident and has undergone X rays to determine his injury.
SUPPORTIVE: Communities Secretary Sajid Javid says “enough is enough”
The Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) said the terms of some leases "were becoming increasingly onerous".
"Unfair charges" levied on buyers of new-build houses could be banned in England under a proposed crackdown.
Leaseholds on new-build houses would be outlawed, while ground rents could be dramatically reduced, under government plans subject to public consultation.
Ground rents can double every decade, crippling home owners and in some cases making a property impossible to sell.
"Enough is enough. These practices are unjust, unnecessary and need to stop," said Communities Secretary Sajid Javid.
The proposals, which are subject to an eight-week consultation, apply only to England.
Mr Javid said that there were 1.2 million cases of houses on leasehold, and the situation of escalating costs was one example of a "broken housing market".
He said the proposals would affect future sales, but those already facing difficulties would generally need to seek redress from the housebuilder or, if the situation was not made clear at the point of sale, their solicitor.
"Builders and developers should be seeing what they can do to right some of the wrongs of the past," he told the BBC's Today programme.
Builder sorry in leasehold 'scandal'
The new property trap affecting thousands
Four million leaseholders 'face rip-off'
The leasehold system has existed for a long time in England and Wales, especially in blocks of flats.
Leaseholders own their homes for a fixed period of time, on a "lease" to a freeholder, but many have long leases, for example for many decades, and experience no problems.
Traditionally houses have nearly always been sold as freehold properties, meaning the buyer owns the building and land it is built on outright.
But the trend for new-build houses being sold as leasehold has accelerated in recent years.
The government said the trend of new leasehold houses was a particular problem in the north-west of England.
Leaseholders typically pay ground rent to the freeholder, but can be caught out by clauses allowing for dramatic increases in these fees, which come on top of management charges for the upkeep of communal areas.
The Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) said the terms of some leases "were becoming increasingly onerous".
MPs have described the situation as a "national scandal" and the "PPI of the housebuilding industry".
The DCLG said its proposals aimed to make future leases fairer by reducing ground rents so they "relate to real costs incurred".
About 21% of private housing in England is owned by leaseholders, with 30% of those properties houses rather than flats, according to figures from the Department for Communities and Local Government.
Hamidullah Qadri who made his first class debut this week at the age of 16 making him the first 2000 born player in England.
Young cricket star Hamidullah Qadri has been talk of cricket this week as he become the youngest player in first class cricket making his debut at the tender age of 16.
In a week that the new pink ball was supposed to take the headlines, with the County Championship’s inaugural day night match set of fixtures taking place featuring many of England’s superstars, it was a 16-year-old Afghani born Englishman taking centre stage.
Qadri who this week made his first-class debut for Derbyshire CCC against Glamorgan became the first cricketer in England to be born in the 21st century.
Earlier in the season he made his list A debut against South Africa A and he also became the youngest player to represent Derbyshire at first class level.
In the match against Glamorgan Qadri batted at number 11 and although he did avoid an early scare being bowled off a no ball, he regained focus and batted efficiently against the more experienced opposition under the lights.
The youngster managed to score 11 not out as his side were bowled out for 288 in their first innings, he didn’t look out of place and helped prevent his side from capitulating.
The youngster who was born on December 5th, 2000, signed his first professional contract with Derbyshire in the winter penning a two-year deal with the division two side.
The Academy spinner has been playing in the Derbyshire Premier League for Alvaston & Boulton taking 223 wickets at an average of 20.41 in five seasons since moving from Afghanistan.
Qadri’s Development Coach Mal Loye spoke about the youngster following an impressive spell in the academy and second team before making his maiden appearance against South Africa A earlier this summer.
Loye said: “Hamidullah has shown a lot of skill and ability during his time with the Academy.
“He has a real hunger to continue to learn and improve his game and this has been rewarded with impressive performances in the second team which has led to a call up to the first team.
“He has the potential and desire to develop into a genuine all-rounder and we look forward to watching him develop his game over the next few years.”
Great Britain hockey star Suzy Perry is presented with a bouquet by Roundhay School Headteacher Matthew Partington
Great Britain and England hockey star Suzy Perry opened a new all-weather sports pitch at a Leeds school.
The superb community facility at Roundhay School offers one full size hockey pitch, three five a-side football pitches and two smaller-scale hockey areas.
School Governors, contractors, Year 7 students and 90 pupils from local primary schools watched as Suzy declared the facility open.
Headteacher Matthew Partington said the facility had been made possible thanks to a substantial investment by Leeds City Council. It was completed on schedule and involved Nottssport Limited, Interserve Construction and Cleveland Land Services Limited.
“We were delighted Suzy was able to spare the time in her busy schedule to open this superb facility,” Mr Partington said. “I would like to thank everyone involved. It has already made a huge difference.
DELIGHTED: Invited guests at the opening of the new all-weather facilities at Roundhay School in Leeds
“The development has significantly improved the teaching facilities, our ability to offer additional extra-curricular activities and the delivery of the curriculum for Physical Education at Roundhay School.”
Previously, students travelled more than five miles to play hockey.
Residents will benefit as it will be made available for community use.
Teacher of Physical Education, Rachelle Le Bourdon, also thanked Suzy.
“The pitch has transformed our curriculum and had a huge impact on the participation in extra-curricular activities,” she said.
The facility will give the school another area to offer alternative activities and resources to accommodate the needs of its growing number of pupils, said Mr Partington.
Ikram’s book ‘Tries and Prejudice’ can be downloaded here: Click on the picture
The autobiography of England’s first Muslim rugby international has been released free of charge on Amazon.
Ikram Butt, who played Rugby League for England as well as rugby union for Pakistan, has worked tirelessly over the past 13 years to build bridges between communities through a number of organisations including his own BARA (British Asian Rugby Association).
His hard hitting yet entertaining autobiography ‘Tries and Prejudice’, co-authored by Tony Hannan, is available to download for Kindle without cost. It covers his life in professional sport and challenges faced away from the pitch growing up in Yorkshire.
Ikram explained: “As a Muslim living in Britain I was disgusted and saddened by the attacks in Manchester and London. In my work over the years in using sport to unite communities it’s clear that we have to find common ground between ourselves.
“Our similarities will always far outweigh our differences and bringing people together of all backgrounds and faiths using sport does work. I have seen it time and time again and we must persist down this path.
“Practical measures must be taken to mitigate the chance of radicalization by getting young people involved in activities that build bridges. Sport can achieve so much in this respect if the political will is there,” added Ikram.
Ikram is widely recognised as one of the most influential British Asian role models and recipient of an honorary doctorate from Leeds Beckett University as well as a Fellowship from Bradford College for using sport to change people's lives.
Ikram carries out ambassadorial duties for the British Asian Trust and Mosaic, both founded by HRH Prince Charles as well as being a leading voice in the White Ribbon Campaign aimed at raising awareness of abuse by men against women and girls.
Projects run in cities such as London, Birmingham, Bristol, Hull, Leicester, Liverpool and Manchester
England cricket’s newest prodigy, Haseeb Hameed, joined participants at a Chance to Shine Street cricket session in India.
Hameed, who introduced himself to the world in England’s recent tour of India, joined the ‘Street Session’ answering the participants’ questions and offering his own top tips for the game.
The participants, aged 16-24, have been playing regularly under the guidance of Chance to Shine Street cricket coach Rehaan Rather. The opportunity to meet a professional cricketer, who is achieving success at such a young age, was an inspiring opportunity for the young adults.
Chance to Shine Street projects run in cities such as London, Birmingham, Bristol, Hull, Leicester, Liverpool and Manchester. The free sessions have proved particularly popular, playing a fast-paced version of ‘tape-ball cricket’, which uses a tennis ball wrapped in electrical tape.
In 2016, over 2,700 children and young adults aged eight-24 took part in Street sessions. Around 75% of players are from BME backgrounds and 85% of the projects run in the 50% most deprived areas of the country.
Speaking at the event, Haseeb Hameed said “This evening’s been great. It was my first experience of Chance to Shine Street tapeball cricket, it’s not something I’ve played before but to see it here tonight was brilliant. There’s a lot of natural talent here and tapeball gives you a real opportunity to showcase your skills.
“Chance to Shine Street is a great scheme and I’ve no doubt that a lot of talent will progress within the game as a result of playing tapeball cricket.”
Lycamobile Chairman, Allirajah Subaskaran, said, “We are very proud to sponsor Chance to Shine Street and over the past year have witnessed how its programmes and initiatives have changed the lives of some of those living in the UK’s most disadvantaged areas.
“Sport can be a powerful tool in breaking down barriers and creating social cohesion and this is something that speaks strongly to our commitments at Lycamobile, of connecting people both within the UK and internationally.”
The event is one of a series taking place as part of the ongoing partnership between Lycamobile and Chance to Shine, which was renewed in August 2016 for a second year. With Lycamobile’s support, Chance to Shine has expanded its Street programme, which uses cricket to promote social cohesion among communities affected by anti-social behaviour and youth crime. To find out more about Street cricket and to get involved go to chancetoshine.org/street.
BE CLEAR ON CANCER: 50-year-old GP, Dr Girish Patel is fronting a campaign developed by Public Health England and Cancer Research UK
A GP is fronting an initiative developed by Public Health England and Cancer Research UK, which highlights the role of bowel cancer screening in helping to save lives.
Dr Girish Patel, is appearing in a new Be Clear on Cancer campaign to raise awareness of the disease and hopes that he can effectively highlight the role and importance of bowel cancer screening.
The campaign is aimed at men and women aged 60-74 years to encourage them to take part in the NHS Bowel Cancer Screening programme.
People in this age bracket who are registered with a GP will receive an NHS bowel cancer screening kit through the post, every two years. Bowel cancer screening is a simple test that can be done in the privacy of your own home. It is designed to detect early signs of bowel cancer.
The 50-year-old GP, who lives in Eccles and has two children, appears on the official website explaining who is eligible to use the kit, how it works and why it’s worthwhile taking part in bowel screening. He has worked as a GP in Salford for 21 years.
He said: “I recommend my patients complete their bowel screening test when it arrives through the post because it’s one of the best ways to find bowel cancer early, when it’s easier to treat successfully.
“I also encourage everyone to read the leaflet sent with their test kit, to help them decide whether to take part because bowel cancer screening is a personal choice.”
Every year, 2000 people aged 60 – 74 are diagnosed with bowel cancer in the North West and 600 people of the same age in the region will die from the disease.
Fiona Osgun, Senior Health Information Officer at Cancer Research UK, said: “Some people don’t return the test kit because they don’t think they need to take part if they’re not feeling ill. But screening is designed to detect bowel cancer before any symptoms develop. The kit comes with clear step-by-step instructions and tips for collecting your poo.”
“Even if the kit does show something out of the ordinary, it doesn’t mean it will turn out to be cancer. But if it is cancer, catching it at an early stage means it is easier to treat successfully.”
Bowel cancer screening has been shown to reduce the risk of dying from bowel cancer by 16 per cent. When bowel cancer is diagnosed at the earliest stage, more than nine in 10 people will survive the disease for more than five years.
Anne Mackie, Director of Screening, Public Health England explained: “It is important that we raise awareness of the Bowel Cancer Screening Programme and highlight that screening is a choice.
“Screening gives those who participate, and who are unknowingly living with the earliest signs of bowel cancer, the best chance of successful treatment.”
Cancer Research UK believes that no one should be diagnosed too late to have treatment that might save their life. Diagnosing cancer early is one of the most powerful ways to beat it.
For more information visit www.cruk.org.uk/beclearoncancer or ring the NHS Bowel Cancer Screening Helpline on 0800 707 60 60.
SHOCKING STATS: Around nine in 10 children have access to the internet, with almost half of kids using Snapchat by the age of 12
According to the Children’s Commissioner for England, youngsters who use the internet are not prepared for what they are signing up to online, and are regularly giving personal information away.
Anne Longfield said children did not know how their data was being used due to ‘impenetrable’ terms and conditions.
She said the internet was not designed for children even though they are now its biggest users.
She has called for a digital ombudsman to be created to uphold their rights.
Despite the internet being an ‘incredible force for good’, Ms Longfield said children were being left to fend for themselves with parents hoping they would avoid its pitfalls.
Her report also recommended that children should study ‘digital citizenship’ to learn about their rights and responsibilities online and that social media companies should rewrite their terms and conditions in language that is easy to understand.
Children already learn about using the internet and staying safe online at school as part of ICT but Ms Longfield wants to make this part of the curriculum from the age of four.
She said small print often contained ‘hidden clauses’ waiving privacy rights and allowing content children posted to be sold on.
Ms Longfield added: “When it was created 25 years ago, the internet was not designed with children in mind but I believe the proposals in our report would help make it a better and safer place for children.
“Parents are not confident about how to prepare children for online life, while Ofsted has found teaching staff training to be inconsistent and often inadequate.
“Digital citizenship should be taught from the age of four to 14,with a voluntary extension for older children who would show the way to get the best out of the internet. It would include what it means to be a responsible citizen online, how to protect your rights online, how to respect others’ rights online, and how to both disengage and engage with the online world.”
FLYING HIGH: Fans celebrated in Chennai as they watched England lose their final six wickets for just 15 runs
A six wicket haul for just 15 runs all but summed up England’s miserable Test record in India this winter as they succumbed to a 4-0 series defeat at the hands of the hosts.
Despite heading into tea on 192-5 in the fifth and final Test, the visitors collapsed to 207 all-out in Chennai to lose their second successive Test by an innings.
India had amassed a huge first innings score of 759-7, meaning England has to register at least 282 runs to force a follow-on.
Starting the day on 12-0, they looked well on their way to reaching this goal when the first wicket fell with 103 on the board.
First Alistair Cook clipped a wide Ravindra Jadeja delivery to KL Rahul at leg slip just one run short of his half-century, whilst fellow opening batsmen, Keaton Jennings, made just five more runs before he was caught on 54.
When Joe Root came out knowing that he needed just 11 runs to break Michael Vaughn’s record for Test runs in a calendar year by an English batsman, hope, temporarily, seemed to be restored for fans in the stands.
Unfortunately, that hope was short-lived as the Yorkshire cricketer managed just five runs before being given out LBW on review to Jadeja.
Jonny Bairstow also had his eyes on Vaughan’s record when he stepped up to the crease yet fell to a stunning catch in the deep from Jadeja.
DISAPPOINTED: Alistair Cook is said to be considering his future as England Test captain following the 4-0 series defeat against India
The spinner charged back to apprehend a lofted leg clip from Bairstow and take the ball over his shoulder.
England found themselves on 129-4 at this stage and needed a strong middle-order display to avoid a collapse in front of a raucous home crowd.
The visitors were able to see themselves through to tea thanks to a partnership between Moeen Ali and Ben Stokes, yet it was after the break that the home side picked off their opponents with ease.
Moeen came down the track to Jadeja for a big shot but failed to clear Ashwin at mid on and went for 44. Stokes joined him two overs later as he clipped a gripper from Jadeja straight to Karun Nair at mid-wicket to hand the bowler his fifth scalp of the innings.
By the time Liam Dawson was bowled by Mishra for 0, England had lost three wickets for five runs. Adil Rashid was the next to go, a leading edge flying to that man Jadeja at point off Umesh Yadav.
Fittingly, Jadeja wrapped proceedings with his sixth and seventh wickets. Stuart Broad gloved to Cheteshwar Pujara at leg slip before Jake Ball prodded at a turner and found Karun Nair. It handed Jadeja his maiden 10-fer in Test cricket and his best figures to boot.
With the ODI series starting in January, England will be hoping a New Year will bring new fortunes in India.
SUPPORTIVE: England cricketer and British Asian Trust Ambassador Moeen Ali, visits Mumbai for a ‘Give a Girl a Future’ project initiative
England’s cricket stars inspired the next generation of sports champions at a special training session in Mumbai.
Ten girls between the ages of 13-19 who are supported by a British rural development project called Mann Deshi, were delighted to meet England cricketers including Alastair Cook, Moeen Ali and Joe Root ahead of their test match with India on Thursday 8th December.
The British Asian Trust, one of the Prince of Wales’ charities, arranged for the England stars to meet with the girls, who have all excelled in a range of sports from running to hockey. The event marked the final day of the Trust’s major public appeal ‘Give a Girl a Future’.
England cricketer and British Asian Trust Ambassador Moeen Ali said: “The British Asian Trust is putting incredible work, funds and resources into transforming the lives of thousands in South Asia.
“The ‘Give a Girl a Future’ appeal has demonstrated that with the support of the UK public, we have been able to make a massive impact on so many lives in the region. It was an eye opening experience to meet some of these beneficiaries today, children from Mumbai who have little hope or future. Their lives have been transformed by the British Asian Trust.”
Richard Hawkes, CEO, British Asian Trust said: “It’s fantastic to give some of our children this once in a lifetime experience here in Mumbai. These children have been involved in our Mann Deshi project for a number of months as part of our overall livelihoods work in India.
“Today is a special day for us as we bring our ‘Give a Girl a Future’ appeal to an end. The appeal has been our most successful in the Trust’s 9-year history and we’d like to thank the England team for taking some time out today and spending it with us in Mumbai.”
The British Asian Trust’s ‘Give a Girl a Future’ appeal launched on 7th September and has focused on providing education and skills training to engage vulnerable girls and women in South Asia. All funds donated during the appeal have been doubled by the UK Government. The appeal has seen support from the Trust’s key ambassadors and celebrities such as Zayn Malik, Sanjeev Bhaskar, Meera Syal, Anita Rani, Naughty Boy, Anil Kapoor, Shilpa Shetty and Rahul Dravid.
BUILD ON DEFEAT: Following their loss in Bangladesh, England will be hoping to bounce back in India
Jonathan Trott previews England’s winter tour
Jonathan Trott is a cricketer who, in his prime, would have walked into any international setup in the world.
From scoring a maiden century on his international test debut against Australia in the 2009 Ashes, to cementing his position amongst the world’s top ‘number three’ batsmen, his career with England was sadly short-lived yet his achievements speak for themselves.
What England would give for a player of his ability and temperament to come in at ‘number four’ nowadays is anybody’s guess.
This past week, he has been speaking with the Asian Express Newspaper about England’s chances in India and what went wrong in that final Test against Bangladesh.
Reflecting on England’s post-lunch collapse in Dhaka last month, which saw them lose all 10 wickets for just 64 runs and ultimately tie the series, Trott said lessons need to be learned.
“I think England will obviously be disappointed,” he said. “They found themselves playing very good cricket for the majority of the day and it just goes to show, you lose one session in a Test match and it can lose you the game.
“They will be disappointed not to have finished the tour on a high, but they will also be going to India now, pleased to have got in some competitive cricket.”
Despite the defeat, Trott remains somewhat upbeat about the national side.
“I think a two test series against Bangladesh which they didn’t win can also be a good thing,” he added.
“They went to Bangladesh and sometimes teams can just spend three weeks playing warm up games and not get prepared. This time around, Bangladesh gave them a good eye opener and good preparation for India.
“Playing India will obviously pose a completely different threat. The environment you play in and the level of opposition, taking nothing away from Bangladesh, will create a much tougher test.
“If England had gone and thrashed Bangladesh they could have perhaps got a rude awakening in India and found themselves a couple of games down, whereas now, they know that they are going to be in a scrap and that’s the sort of mentality they need.”
TALKING TACTICS: Trott was lethal with the bat in his prime and believes there are many good options for England
England begin their tour of India on Wednesday 9th November with the first of five Tests kicking off in Rajkot.
The hosts haven’t lost a Test series at home since they were defeated by England back in 2013 and are currently ranked as the number one side in the world.
Trott was one of the star batsmen in the final Test three years ago, smashing an unbeaten 143 runs.
Ahead of the first ball of the 2016 series being bowled, he says he predicts a low-scoring series and is optimistic for England’s chances.
“I’d like to think England can go there and draw the series,” he said. “It will be difficult to win, especially the way India have been playing at home – I’m not sure they’ve lost many at all recently.
“They are preparing pitches for spin bowling a lot more but hopefully we can come away with a draw.”
He added: “India will undoubtedly have a lot of skill in their side, a lot of energy in the field.
“They have a lot more younger players and playing in the IPL has definitely improved their fielding a lot since I was playing especially.
“When I played 25 years ago, they had the Tendulkars, Lakman, fielding wasn’t high on the tactic sheet but these guys nowadays are good all-round cricketers.
“It’s going to be competitive and they will definitely be backing themselves.”
In Bangladesh, England once again showed their frailties when facing spin bowlers, with 19 wickets taken by the inexperienced 19-year-old, Mehedi Hasan.
With the likes of Ravi Ashwin ready to pounce on any hesitation in England’s batting order, there can be no slip up at the wicket.
“A lot of the players who travelled to Bangladesh have been on Lions trip tours where they have experienced subcontinent conditions so inexperience isn’t really an excuse,” Trott said.
“Last year they went to Abu Dhabi and Sri Lanka so they do spend a lot of time playing spin in test cricket.
“You can play as much of it as you want to in the net but actually coming up against it in an actual match is a whole new ball game. For a lot of them, it’s their first Test in a subcontinent experience and they struggled.”
TIME TO FOCUS: Jonathan Trott believes England can draw the Test series with India but need to hit the ground running (Pic credit: Chance To Shine)
Gary Ballance was one of those singled out for his poor performances in the Test matches with Bangladesh, managing just 24 runs in four spells at the wicket.
With the Yorkshire batsmen unlikely to feature in the Test series squad in India, Trott says there are still many possible replacements for the ‘number four’ spot.
“It will be interesting to see whether they want Moeen (Ali) to bat further up and then possibly bring in an all rounder or perhaps Jos Buttler could bat further down,” he said.
“They’ve got so many options because they have so many bowlers who can bat, like stokes and Rashid and Ansari, it’s really difficult.
“It looks like Ballance isn’t going to play anymore so perhaps Buttler would be a good choice for experience in India and let Jonny (Bairstow) keep the gloves.”
He added: “I think it will also be interesting to see how we line up from the start. Everyone goes on about wanting Hales to open the innings, wanting to put impetus on the top but I think Duckett gives you that.
“He has played really well and hopefully that will give him confidence to play at the top, the way he did in the last innings, even though the situation was dictated to him. I’d like to think Duckett will stay at the top.”
England will play a five Test series in India (between 9th November and 20th December), followed by three One Day Internationals (15th January to 22nd January) and three T20 games (26th January to 1st February).
Sky Sports will show all five of England’s Tests v India this winter as part of a year round schedule of international cricket.
FEROCIOUS FLOODS: Yorkshire saw the wettest December in over a century last year
According to a government review, as many as 530 key infrastructure sites across England are still vulnerable to flooding.
The report has revealed a total of £12.5 million to new temporary flood defences in England.
During the wettest December in over a century last year, 16,000 houses across northern England were flooded and the review was then commissioned.
Critics at the time said defences were not up to the job.
The £12.5million means the Environment Agency would have four times as many temporary flood barriers than in 2015.
Environment Secretary Andrea Leadsom said the review set out ‘clear actions so we are better prepared to respond quickly in the event of future flooding and can strengthen the nation's flood defences’.
She added: “Work is already underway towards £12.5 million of new temporary defences stationed around England, better protection for our infrastructure and new flood modelling that makes better use of data and technology.”
She also said the government was investing £2.5bn by 2021 to protect families, homes and businesses from flooding.
In July, the Climate Change Committee, which provides independent advice to the Government and Parliament warned of ‘cascading infrastructure failures’ from flooding.
Friends of the Earth campaigner Guy Shrubsole, said: “This review suggests a sea change in Government understanding of floods, but its recommendations are a wash-out.
“£12.5m for temporary flood defences is a drop in the ocean when the review concludes that winter rainfall could increase by up to 30 per cent in future in parts of the UK - signalling politicians' acceptance that the climate is changing radically.”
COMMUNITY LEADER: The Very Reverend Rogers Govender, Dean of Manchester, has been in his role for 10 years, bringing communities and faiths together
Born in South Africa to Hindu parents at a time when societies remained vehemently divided, Rogers Govender’s life has always touched upon the simple concept of ‘bringing people together’.
Today, in his role as the Dean of Manchester, he works across the city-region with communities of all faiths and backgrounds, continuing to build on interfaith work he first established over 8,000 miles away.
With a desire to push for a ‘united city’, he has spent over 16 years working with faiths in Manchester and explained what he has learned during his time in the area.
“Manchester is a very diverse city but within that diversity there is still a fair amount of work to be done,” he said.
“At times, we must learn to rise above our race, culture and religion and recognise our common humanity. We need to celebrate that.
“All of us contribute to making this rich tapestry which is Greater Manchester and each and every one of us has an important part and place in our diverse society.”
A sixth generation South African, born in KwaZulu-Natal in Durban, Rev Govender was first introduced to the church at the age of 17.
It was during that first visit that he jokes ‘God got a hold of me’. He felt that the ‘unity and togetherness’ which was transmitted in the place of worship drew him irrevocably in.
In 1985, the then 25-year-old was ordained by the Diocese of Natal and went on to serve there for 15 years as parish priest, archdeacon and cathedral canon.
With experience of working in diverse communities under his belt, Rev Govender decided he wanted to share his experiences with an overseas audience and so headed over to the UK to work with the Church of England.
“One of the main reasons I moved to Manchester was because I felt like I had made a contribution to cities in South Africa and I wanted to see if I could bring some of that vision to the Church of England,” he said.
“At the time, I did not envisage working on such a broad canvas as I am doing now. Today, I rejoice in this role as The Dean and relish the opportunities which are presented to me and my team.”
Rev Govender’s first role in Manchester was as the Parish Priest in West Didsbury.
There, he began to build up a reputation in the local area, working with middle and working class families from a variety of backgrounds.
He was soon additionally appointed Area Dean of Withington, overseeing 14 parishes in inner south Manchester before then Prime Minister, Tony Blair, approached him for the role of Dean of Manchester in 2006 - subsequently making him the first black Dean in the Church of England.
“It was quite a shock to the system really,” he admitted. “I was just a humble parish priest, getting on with my job in the local communities and to be invited into a post like this was a huge honour, very humbling but also rather daunting.
“It is a big job, being the dean of any cathedral is a different job than that of a parish priest. As a priest everything is very local, small scale, whereas this job is more city-wide scale, it traverses many faith communities and demographics and offers up loads of variety.
“It certainly makes for a very interesting time.”
Over the past decade, Rev Govender has continued to progress the work he is passionate about.
He has helped to establish the Multi-faith Challenging Hate Forum, Multi-faith Forum on Modern Day Slavery and just last month hosted an all-inclusive peace and unity event in the Town Hall.
As well as being a leading figure in the Christian community, the dedicated community leader says it is ‘imperative’ that he is seen as a commendable representative for the whole of the Greater Manchester area.
“Sadly we are living in a time where we are becoming increasingly suspicious of our neighbours, when acts of terrorism have increased the incidents of Islamophobia and anti-Semitism, and of course in other parts of the world, the persecution of Christians,” he said.
“With this in mind, it is especially important to keep bringing communities together and not to allow these acts of terror to divide our communities. Whether we like it or not, we all live on this one planet together.
“There is nowhere else we can escape to and so we have to learn to live in peace and unity in this city, in this country and in this world.”
What keeps Rev Govender motivated? That same simple concept he first learnt about decades ago in South Africa – ‘bringing people together’.
“I’m interested in people living in peace; people learning about each other, people appreciating diversity and variety, and people moving forward together,” he said. “I’m interested in celebrating differences and in stopping people seeing differences as obstacles.
“Faith allegiance is part of a bigger story, a bigger human narrative and is something I take great pride in promoting in my role as the Dean of Manchester Cathedral.”
ARRESTED: Amir was disgraced following the 2010 Test match, after being found guilty of spot-fixing
Mohammed Amir set for England tour, six years on from spot-fixing scandal
In 2010, the cricketing world was rocked by a spot-fixing scandal that resulted in three Pakistan internationals being suspended after a Test match at Lords.
Next month, disgraced cricketer, Mohammed Amir, returns to England for the first time since his five-year ban from the sport, as he looks to continue rebuilding his international career.
Amir, now 24, was the youngest of the three players – alongside former team mates Salman Butt and Mohammad Asif – to be suspended and jailed after a series of deliberate ‘no balls’ were bowled in a Test match.
Pakistan coach, Mickey Arthur, insists that the left-arm paceman has all the potential to return to the top of the game.
“He served his time, he's done it,” Arthur, who coached Amir during his reign at Karachi Kings in the Pakistan Super League (PSL), said in his first news conference.
“I had Amir in the PSL, he was a fantastic professional. Other stuff is not relevant to me.
“The stuff that's relevant to me is making Mohammad Amir the best he can possibly be as a cricketer.”
Amir’s return was initially resented by some teammates and fans yet the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) have stood by the talented bowler since his re-introduction to the national setup.
CAUGHT OUT: Replays showed Amir’s unusual bowling which were later found out to be purposely bowled ‘no balls’
“People can say what they like, it's got nothing to do with me,” Arthur added.
“If Mohammad Amir is picked in the Pakistan cricket team, which he has been for the England tour, it's my role as head coach to make him the best possible player that he can possibly be.”
England will face Pakistan for the first time at Lords Cricket Ground on Thursday 14th July, before heading north to Manchester’s Emirates Old Trafford on Friday 22nd July.
Tests at Edgbaston and The Oval follow in August before a one day and Twenty20 series later this year.
The teams last played each other in the UAE in October and November last year, with Pakistan prevailing in the three-match series on that occasion with a 2-0 victory.
Pakistan batsman, Younis Khan, is confident his side can put on a repeat performance in England next month, and is looking forward to a return to the UK.
RETURNING: Mohammed Amir will return to the scene of the crime at Lords next month as Pakistan face off against England in a Test series
“It is always a pleasure whenever you play in Lord's,” Khan said. “The tradition and using that dressing room and that ground... in my mind it's always a challenge and a pleasure for me so playing cricket in England is all about that.
“If you go there and play according to your plans you'll be successful in any conditions and against any bowler.”
SUMMIT REACHED: Ayesha Sawant successfully climbed Scafell Pike to raise funds for the Imran Khan Cancer Appeal
Primary school pupil takes on England’s tallest mountain
Wintery conditions, steep climbs and almost six hours of trekking were just some of the obstacles nine-year-old Ayesha Sawant overcame earlier this month as she took on her biggest charity challenge to date.
Armed with her hiking boots and walking poles, the Lady Royd Primary school pupil headed over to the Lake District’s Scafell Pike for a mammoth 978m climb.
Raising funds for the Imran Khan Cancer Appeal, Ayesha, accompanied by her father and other fundraisers, spent the day attempting to reach the summit before an equally long trek back down.
After a gruelling six hours of walking, the team successfully reached the top of England’s tallest mountain, raising hundreds of pounds between them for charity.
Ayesha says the group were met by up to six inches of snow at the summit, yet not even the boulder-strewn slopes could deter her for reaching the top.
Speaking of the trek, Ayesha said: “Some parts were quite tricky because of the huge rocks and it was very cold at the top.
“Even though I had six layers of clothes on I could still feel the cold.”
The exhausting climb to the top proved challenging for all climbers, yet it wasn’t until the descent that the group really had to start ‘watching their step’.
“Coming back down the mountain, the melting snow made it quite slippery,” Ayesha added. “That made it quite difficult but I still really enjoyed the day.
“The money I have raised will now be sent to Pakistan to help people who have cancer.”
CLIMBING CHALLENGE: At 978m high, Scafell Pike is an exhausting climb for even experienced trekkers
The Imran Khan Cancer Appeal was established in Pakistan by cricketer, Imran Khan.
After being personally affected by cancer with the loss of his mother, the world-renowned cricketer-turned-politician helped set up the charity which developed the Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital and Research Center located in Lahore, Pakistan.
FINALS AWAIT: Four Dewsbury fighters arte through to the semi-finals of a national boxing competition (l-r) Adeeb Ajmal, Moqeet Rehman, Subhaan Mohammed, Rash Khan, Amaar Akbar, Alan Haque, Zee Akbar
Fantastic four progress to national semi-finals
The small town of Dewsbury is building up quite a reputation on the amateur boxing scene after four fighters from the area progressed into the semi-finals of the England Boxing National Junior Championships.
Adeeb Ajmal, Amaar Akbar, Subhaan Mohammed and Moqeet Rehman will all compete in Portsmouth this weekend after success in their respected weight-division’s quarter-final contests.
Ajmal, boxing out of KBW, is currently competing in the 78kg category despite only having three competitive bouts under his belt.
Facing off against much more experienced opponents, the relative newcomer to the sport is hoping to secure his first national title after receiving a bye in the semi-finals to progress to the final.
Clubmate, Mohammed, who previously reached the quarter finals in the same competition, is through to the semis after securing a unanimous points victory against Stocksbridge’s Joe Armer.
Making it a hat-trick for KBW is Rahman. His good form this season continued after defeating Sam Turner, of Croxteth Boxing Club, in Liverpool. A heavy handed fight saw both boxers land heavy blows yet it was a point’s decision that eventually gave Rahman the win.
The fourth boxer from Dewsbury, making the trip down to the south coast will be Akbar. The Warrior Breed Boxing Club representative is looking for his second national title this season.
He has already knocked off the challenges of Harry Fryer and Owen Rees, the latter boxing out of the famous Birtley Boxing Club – to secure his place at the semi-finals.
Shammy Cheema, from KBW, said the young competitors had all done the local area proud.
“It is a remarkable achievement considering Dewsbury has never been known as a predominant boxing tow, compared to the likes of Leeds and Sheffield for example,” he said.
“To have four boxers reach such late stages of a national competition is something that only usually happens in large cities.
“All of them will now be heading to Portsmouth this weekend to box in the semis and look to bring the national titles back to Dewsbury.”
BACKING: Dr Radha Modgil is supporting the Public Health England campaign
Public Health England asks ‘How Are You?’ in latest campaign
A GP turned broadcaster is backing the latest Public Health England campaign to get people to take control of their health now, to enjoy the benefits later.
‘One You’ is the biggest campaign since Change4Life and is reaching out to members of the South Asian communities, who are at higher risk of suffering from preventable diseases compared to the general population.
Via an online test, ‘One You’ gives people the chance to reappraise their lifestyle choices, put themselves first and do something about their own health before it’s too late.
It is well reported that South Asian people are more likely to suffer from type 2 diabetes, stroke and heart disease.
Modern day life makes it hard for people to live healthily, with bigger portions for everything we eat, a desk-bound job or a long commute.
GP and Broadcaster, Dr Radha Modgil has joined other celebrities such as The Hairy Bikers, Actress Linda Robson and football pundit Chris Kamara to encourage people to take a moment in their busy lives to ask themselves an important question we rarely have time to consider seriously: ‘How Are You?’, and help people make healthy changes by taking the new ‘How Are You’ online health quiz.
Dr Modgil said: “I’m pleased to be supporting One You, it’s a fantastic campaign which empowers people to make simple changes that can benefit their health and wellbeing now and in the future.
“Many diseases that affect South Asian people and shorten their active lives can be prevented by making simple healthier choices like being more active, eating well, drinking less alcohol and being smoke free.”
The ‘How Are You’ quiz can help you to start to take control of your health now and can be completed at http://po.st/tF7z9q.
EDUCATION: Mr Osborne confirmed plans that all schools in England will be made into academies by 2022
Budget 2016 Announced
The highly anticipated budget for 2016 was announced this week with shake ups to all sectors receiving both praise and criticism from the nation’s residents.
Amongst the most controversial announcements is the £1.3bn a year disability cuts.
The government confirmed that up to 640,000 existing claimants are likely to be effected, cutting the spending on aids and appliances.
Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn, slammed the decision which The Institute for Fiscal Studies says could lose an average claimant £3,500 a year.
“The announcement made by the chancellor is a reverse of the whole trend of the past three decades, to go back to saying disabled people can't lead independent lives, can't get the support they need.”
He added: “Any of us could become disabled at any time. We're just a car accident away from a major disability. We should think about that.”
However, despite calls to reverse the decision from members of their own party, the Conservative government have reinforced their commitment to such plans.
Meanwhile, the Chancellor George Osborne also announced a new sugar tax which will see a levy on soft drinks with more than 5g of sugar per 100ml and an even higher rate for those with more than 8g per 100ml.
The funding will be used to double the primary PE and sport premium (the additional money schools have to spend on PE and sports) to £320 million a year.
BUDGET TIME: Chancellor George Osborne speaks in parliament about his latest budget plans
Another contentious announcement surrounded the Chancellor’s decision to make all schools into academies by 2022 despite opposition from teachers.
In a recent YouGov poll of 8,259 teachers and professors, nearly half - 48 per cent - thought academies made the standards worse, whilst just 17 per cent said they had a positive influence.
Mr Osborne, however, disagrees with the majority it seems.
He said: “It is simply unacceptable that Britain continues to sit too low down the global league tables for education. So I’m going to get on with finishing the job we started five years ago, to drive up standards and set schools free from the shackles of local bureaucracy.”
10 key points from the 2016 budget
A surplus by 2019-20
Double the dedicated funding for sport in primary schools, paid for by a levy on soft drinks
A longer school day for 25% of secondary schools
Every school will be an academy by 2022
The Personal Allowance will increase to £11,500, and the higher rate threshold will rise to £45,000 in April 2017
Lifetime ISA: a new £4,000 ISA that you can use to save for retirement or to buy your first home
HS3 between Leeds and Manchester
£80 million to give ‘Crossrail 2’ the go-ahead
£100 million to help people move on from emergency hostels and refuges
New tax allowances for money earned from the sharing economy
Calling all takeaway owners across the north of England.
Prepare for a taste revolution when it comes to kebabs, as Eastern Delight skewers the competition for suppliers of Britain’s favourite takeaway dish.
Established by a company who has been serving Essex’s kebab-loving public for over 25 years, Eastern Delight is the business’s first foray outside of the South of England.
Specialising in 100% beef kebabs, as well as lamb and chicken, members of the public and business owners alike were able to taste some of the products themselves during a recent sample session at Leeds’ Adam’s Cash and Carry.
Josh Agaoglu, marketing manager at Eastern Delight, said it was ‘exciting times’ for the company.
“We thought it was time to expand outside of Essex and bring the highest quality halal-approved kebabs to the north of England,” he said.
“Our slogan is ‘the shield of trust’ and that is because you can trust Eastern Delight to always supply the finest kebabs, never compromising on quality.
“Feedback from today’s event has been fantastic and we are planning similar shows across the country as we get our name, and product, our there.”
Khurrum Ijaz is the store manager at Adam’s in Leeds.
He added: “It’s nice to have Eastern Delight here today as we look to build up our own relationship with the doner meat supplier.
“Obviously, bringing a new product to the market takes a lot of time and effort but we have seen from today that customers obviously enjoy this one.”
Eastern Delight’s team were showcasing their 100% beef kebabs, perfectly bronzed on their mouth-watering display.
Amongst those tucking in to the free samples on the day was Waheed Ali from Hyde Park’s Angelo’s takeaway.
“From what I have been told, I can see no reason why takeaways wouldn’t opt to use Eastern Delight,” he said.
“All their products are 100 per cent halal, and most people who try it, customers and takeaway owners alike, are going to buy it.”
Further roadshows are planned for Sheffield, Bradford, Nottingham, Preston, Liverpool and Hull in coming weeks.
For more information about Eastern Delight, or to make a purchasing enquiry, please contact the head office on 01621 744055.
Order TWO 10kg Eastern Delight kebabs today and receive 24 cans of Pepsi and 12 bottles of water for FREE
Order TWO 15kg Eastern Delight kebabs today and receive 24 cans of Pepsi and 10L of mayonnaise for FREE
VITALITY IN OUR VINTAGE YEARS: Life expectancy in Britain is longer than ever before
Over 65s in England living longer than ever
A report from Public Health England says older people in England are living longer than ever before.
Figures show that for those aged 65, men can expect to live for another 19 years and women can enjoy a further 21 years on planet earth.
However, there are concerns that too many elderly people aren’t as healthy as they could be.
The figures vary across the country, with the North East and North West having lower life expectancies for 65-year-olds than other regions.
Life expectancy among older age groups in England rose to its highest level in 2014 - with male life expectancy increasing by 0.3 years at age 65 and 0.2 years at ages 75, 85 and 95 since 2013.
Female life expectancy increased by the same amounts at the same ages.
The exception is females aged 85. Despite the rise in 2014, this is still at the same level as in 2011.
As before, there is variation in the figures for regions and local authorities. In all but one region of England, male and female life expectancy at age 65 increased between 2013 and 2014 and is higher in 2014 than in any other year presented. The exception is the North East, where male life expectancy was highest in 2013.
The majority of local authorities showed an increase or no change in life expectancy at age 65, however one quarter showed a decrease.
Professor John Newton, Chief Knowledge Officer at Public Health England said: “Overall the report presents a positive picture nationally and life expectancy is the highest it’s been since we started measuring.
“People in England are living longer than ever and that makes achieving a good quality of life in later years even more important. Our current evidence shows that people are living longer but many are doing so in poor health.
“This report is an opportunity to remind people that, even during mid-life, it is not too late to improve your health. Most of us could make changes today, like stopping smoking, being more active or eating better, that would allow us to look forward to healthier later years.
“The reasons for the variation in trend between local areas are not yet clear. PHE will continue to monitor these trends and analyse the data for 2015 as soon as possible.
Danny Dorling, Halford Mackinder Professor of Human Geography, University of Oxford said: “Although national average life expectancy continues to rise, in many parts of England improvements have stalled in recent years.
“There is an urgent need to determine why this is happening. Beneath the headline figures of this report there is evidence of worsening health for many older people in some parts of the country.”
VICTIM: Shafilea Ahmed was 17-years-old when she was murdered in 2003
Police officers ‘must improve’ upon how they tackle dreadful crime
A landmark report published earlier this week by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) has revealed only three police forces in England and Wales are well prepared to tackle honour-based violence.
The damning report, issued on Tuesday 8th December, says that vast improvement is needed in the understanding, investigation, and recording of offences in the category, which includes female genital mutilation (FGM) and forced marriage.
HMIC's chief, Sir Thomas Winsor, said: “Whilst there are examples of good practice, the police and other organisations do not yet have a sound and complete understanding of the nature or magnitude of these crimes, nor how best to respond to them.”
Two honour-based killings in Yorkshire that have occurred in recent times are the murders of Shafilea Ahmed in 2003 and Banaz Mahmod in 2006.
In the first inquiry of its kind, watchdogs discovered that the nature and the scale of the issue are not fully understood by police forces. When dealing with honour-based violence, some police officers are concerned about appearing to beculturally insensitive. One victim said that police are ‘too scared of coming across as racist’.
Assistant Chief Constable of West Yorkshire Police, Russ Foster, told Asian Express: “Honour- based violence, forced marriage and female genital mutilation are appalling and extremely traumatic crimes which are taken extremely seriously in West Yorkshire.
“Work is ongoing to improve our response to tackling these dreadful crimes and significant resources have been invested in boosting the force’s safeguarding capacity over the past two years.
“We believe these crime types are underreported in West Yorkshire and regularly run campaigns on all three to encourage victims to come forward.”
In September, West Yorkshire Police ran the ‘Right to Choose’ campaign which raised awareness of the new Forced Marriage legislation.
West Yorkshire Police encourage anyone who is a victim of honour-based violence to contact police on 101.
MAN-OF-THE-MATCH: Janan manging director, Asif Khan, said it was a ‘very proud moment’ after presenting the Smart Player of the Match Award to Eoin Morgan in Dubai
Retail chief hands over Smart Player of the Match award in Dubai
As the England cricket team celebrated their series win over Pakistan in Dubai last month, a luxury fashion retailer had the honour of handing out the ‘Smart Player of the Match’ award.
Managing director of Janan, Asif Khan, was invited to the Gulf State for a special awards presentation on Thursday 26th November, at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium.
Junaid Jamshed by Janan is the exclusive stockist of this internationally acclaimed brand which stocks clothes and accessories across four stores nationwide.
It is the retailer of Pakistani stitched garments for ladies, gents and children, and also provides unstitched ladies suits and a host of accessories.
The new winter collection, which is available in all stores nationwide, features beautiful prints and embellishments, showcasing craftsmanship from Pakistan at its best.
The collection not only features bold prints but also has the traditional classical style featuring Pakistani embroidery famous for its intricacy.
The winter collection is not only trendy and bold but also very graceful making it a must have for all the ‘fashionistas’ looking to stay ahead of the fashion's trends.
December is a very exciting month for J. Junaid Jamshed by Janan not only because of the fabulous winter collection but also because of the forthcoming launch of J. Fragrances by Janan.
The new shop is set to open on Saturday 12th December at the newly opened Broadway Centre in Bradford, with shoppers invited to join Junaid Jamshed along with the Khan brothers and the J. by Janan team for a ‘memorable launch’.
The shop will exclusively retail the brand’s perfume line, and with over 50 fragrances to choose from for both men and women the J. Fragrances by Janan will cater to the varied preferences of its clientele.
From fresh and floral to musky and woody scents, this range of perfumes is sure to have something that is perfect for everyone.
TRIUMPHANT: The Palestine All-Stars team clinched the national title last month after defeating the nation’s best five-a-side teams. Team pic includes: Adam Zaman, Anees Younis, Aadam Chhibda, Abdullah Mayat, Muhammad Omar, Aamir Aswat, Rafaqat Hussain, and Youssef Elmanea.
A five-a-side team from Kirklees showcased their skills to the rest of the country last week as they won a nationwide competition held at England’s training base.
Palestine All-Stars, made up mostly of students from Dewsbury and Batley, qualified for the StreetGames Football Pools Fives national championship after success in their regional contest.
Competing at St George’s Park, in Burton-upon-Trent, the local team came up against squads from up and down the country, kicking off the competition against the Scottish representatives - Summerston.
Despite a humbling defeat, the All-Stars bounced back to qualify from their group and advance into the knockout stages and eventually made it all the way to the final.
As fate would have it, the North-East representatives were once again drawn up against Summerston and with the national title just one win away, a close encounter was always expected.
Eventually winning 2-1 in the final, the All-Stars, claimed the prestigious trophy ahead of the 11 other regional teams who had qualified for the finals.
SKILLS: Abdullah Mayat runs with the ball as the All-Stars progress in the tournament.
Team representative, Adam Zaman, from Dewsbury, said he was delighted to lift the trophy following an ‘amazing experience’.
“We had initially qualified for the tournament after winning the North-East regional competition and so were invited to the national championships last month,” he said.
“The experience there was one I’m sure none of us will ever forget.
“As well as having the chance to play against some of the country’s top five-a-side teams at St George’s Park, we also met former England manager, Graham Taylor, and Under-21 manager, Gareth Southgate, which was fantastic.”
Going into the final, Zaman added that the whole team wanted to bounce back with a win, following an opening game defeat, and did just that to lift the trophy.
“We knew what we were up against when playing the Scottish team in the final,” he continued.
“They had beaten us in the first game which made us even more motivated to show what we can do, so when we won, it was just crazy.”
Gareth Southgate, national ambassador for the StreetGames Football Pools Fives, praised the standard of football on show throughout the tournament.
Before the final he said: “If the standard of the football so far is anything to go by then this should be an absolutely fantastic final – and what better place to hold it than at the amazing facilities at St George’s Park.
“This will be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for most of the competitors to show what they can do in the same place where England’s very best train for their international duties.”
Despite their success in the five-a-side game, many members of the All-Stars team are now competing in 11-a-side competitions locally in Kirklees.