VAUGHAN BACKS ENGLAND

Michael Vaughan says that England are going all the way in the Ashes. After dominant performances with ball and bat, the fourth Ashes Test is England’s all the way. I thought they were the value bet at the start of the Test and, after two terrific days, the Betfair market agrees, with Andrew Strauss’ men in to 1.18 to win.

There is so much time left in the game and I think England can bowl Australia out again, probably for around 250.

There is so much pressure on the Aussies, they are playing with so little confidence and some players are playing for their places in the team. I can easily envisage them folding again in the second innings and concentrating on the fifth and final test, hoping for a fresh start in Sydney.

VAUGHAN ADVICES PONTING

Michael Vaughan has suggested to Ricky Ponting that he should go into defensive mode if he is to win the Ashes. As a captain you can make an average team better through your tactics and management. You can make indifferent bowlers look better by giving them more plans and working out a system.

Ponting is not doing that at the moment and I wonder if it is because he is so used to being an aggressive captain for so long because he had such great players at his disposal.

VAUGHAN HOPES FOR AN IMPRESSIVE RESULT IN THE ASHES

Michael Vaughan has said that he is backing England to in the ashes series this time around. “I think with what’s happening in the world game over the last 12 months, so much scandal surrounding cricket, I really think a fantastic Ashes series, one that I hope will go all the way to Sydney, is just what Test cricket needs,” Vaughan told reporters.

Vaughan, who led England to an Ashes series win at home in 2005 before retiring from the game three years later, said every former England captain was looking forward to the Ashes.

“I have finished my career and I am delighted I have got another career,” said Michael Vaughan, who has now become a television commentator. “But you ask any England captain over the last 30 years and they look forward to the Ashes.

VAUGHAN CRITICISES PETERSON

Michael Vaughan criticised Kevin Peterson for his controversial twitter comments. Pietersen reacted angrily to the decision to drop him from the forthcoming Twenty20 and one-day internationals against Pakistan and posted an expletive before quickly deleting the entry.

“What he did on his Twitter account was totally wrong,” Michael Vaughan said. “I think that’s something Kevin will regret for a long time.” Pietersen will now play for Surrey – starting today against Worcestershire at The Brit Insurance Oval in the CB40 – for the last few weeks of the season in a bid to regain some form ahead of this winter’s Ashes series in Australia.

VAUGHAN BLAMES ICC

Michael Vaughan has blamed ICC for not keeping cricket clean. London based bookie Mazhar Majeed was arrested on Saturday on suspicion of conspiracy to defraud bookmakers over an alleged betting scam involving several cricketers from the Pakistan team but was later released on bail.

British tabloid The News of the World claimed that it paid Majeed for advance details of when three no balls would be played in the fourth and final Test between England and Pakistan, which the former won by an innings and 225 runs to win the series 3-1.

“There is a problem, a big problem. I’ve had a few conversations with a few players in the England team and they just feel completely flat,” Michael Vaughan said.

Maybe some reebok coupons would cheer them up? 🙂

VAUGHAN: MATCH-FIXING NOT WIDE-SPREAD

Former England captain Michael Vaughan claims he knows of a player who has been approached to take part in fixing – but does not believe it is widespread in the game.

Essex duo Danish Kaneria and Mervyn Westfield were arrested and bailed earlier this season as part of an investigation into spot-betting – gambling on specific events within a game.

Vaughan believes some form of fixing is “obviously” happening, but that the integrity of the game is largely intact and told Radio Five Live’s Sportsweek: “I don’t know if it’s rife in the game, I just know it’s obviously going on, there have been rumours for many a year. I don’t think it’s happening all the time.”

He added: “I don’t think they’re actually fixing the outcome of games, I think it’s a little bit of spot-fixing. That, to me, is match-fixing because you’re influencing the game in other ways.

“I’m really pleased that guys are speaking out. You mustn’t just point the finger at the players – there are umpires that may get approaches, there are administrators who could get approaches.

“The people that do get approaches and speak out are the good ones, you really need these guys to speak out and let the authorities know exactly what’s happening.

“I know of one (player who has been approached). I think within all this it’s very important that these guys stay anonymous – you hear of gangs and things that could happen so the guys that speak out are being brave, but it’s exactly what needs to happen if we’re going to try to get it out of the game.”