It was a tough call Sunday with great games across the board, but ultimately it’s Argentina — the second-ranked team in our Soccer Power Index (SPI) — that we want to see play.IN BRIEFSee our World Cup interactive for the latest probabilities.IN DEPTHArgentina has one of the most storied World Cup histories, winning the championship in 1978 and 1986 (the latter after Diego Maradona’s infamous quarterfinals goal), but then failing to find that level of international success ever since.This year might be different. After the host and favorite Brazil, Argentina has the greatest chance of winning the tournament at 13 percent. Its opponent on Sunday, Bosnia-Herzegovina, has a less than 1 percent chance of being this year’s champion. Their matchup has the Argentines favored to win at 62 percent compared to the Bosnians’ 15 percent — much of which has to do with Argentina’s strong offense.The attacking trio of Lionel Messi, Gonzalo Higuain and Sergio Aguero is one of the strongest in the tournament, with an SPI offense score of 2.9 (that means we would expect Argentina to score 2.9 goals against an average team), behind only Brazil and Germany. Still, Bosnia’s offense is strong, too, with an SPI offense score of 2.3, so goals may abound in Sunday’s game.To see who’s more likely to find the back of the net, we looked at each team’s three leading scorers since 2011 and how they’ve been performing at their respective clubs in the run-up to the World Cup (some leagues keep spotty game data; we pulled data from a broad set of league games that had the most extensive statistics — the trends are clear).The projected average goals for each team in Sunday’s matchup are 2.0 for Argentina and 0.9 for Bosnia. And it’s pretty clear how much more dominant Argentina’s three best forwards are compared to Bosnia’s best three: Together, Messi, Aguero and Higuain are better at passing, shots on target, “take ons” (as opposed to passing in a one-on-one situation) and goals per game. Even though Bosnia’s Edin Dzeko scores a fair bit for his club team, Manchester City, his broken-down stats don’t seem very impressive.Messi, on the other hand, sweeps the table in almost every category (except goals per shot). And that’s a big reason why Argentina versus Bosnia is our game to watch — because when we say we want to watch Argentina play, what we really mean is that we want to watch Messi play.YesterdayLed by Andrea Pirlo, Italy’s 35-year old midfield Methuselah, the Azzurri completed an astonishing 92.2 percent of their passes in Saturday’s 2-1 win against England, the highest by any team in a World Cup match since 1966 (the start of Stats & Info’s data set). Italy’s experience and efficiency stood in stark contrast to an England side that was wasteful in attack.The final third actually belonged to the English — at least in volume — especially after Mario Balotelli gave Italy the lead in the 50th minute. England had a 192-117 advantage on touches in the attacking third, but struggled to create chances by passing into the penalty area (two chances created off 8-of-37 passing). One goal on 18 total shots wasn’t enough for England, with Wayne Rooney’s 0-for-3 shooting performance bringing his career drought to 25 World Cup shots without a goal.The most glaring English inefficiency was their reliance on the wings to generate offense while failing to deliver quality crosses. England connected on one of 25 crosses (4 percent) in the match, its lowest cross completion percentage in a World Cup match in 44 years.The Italians opted for quality in their attacking-third approach, especially in the match’s final 60 minutes. Over the last two-thirds of the match, the veteran Italian midfield picked apart the English back line. Italy completed eight of 14 passes into the box, creating five chances and a game-winning assist on Balotelli’s 50th-minute header. Pirlo, Claudio Marchisio and Daniele de Rossi (16 combined World Cup games entering Saturday) were a combined 5-for-6 in that span. — John Parolin, senior stats analyst, ESPNOFF THE PITCHNo matter how small the probability, there’s a chance that Argentinian players could have Bosnian souls soles. Tanned horse and cow hides are the biggest single import from Bosnia-Herzegovina to Argentina. Although, they’re only worth $6 million dollars per year.The data, taken from the BACI International Database of trade, shows another surprising reliance between two countries in another of Sunday’s matchups: 28 percent of all French imports to Honduras is packaged medicine (another 4 percent is perfumes, and 3 percent is beauty products).Does Switzerland live up to the assumption that it’s all about the chocolate? Kind of: 22 percent of all exports from Ecuador to Switzerland is cocoa beans, worth a total $34 million. Swiss footballers’ WAGs may also be offered jewelry made of Ecuadorian gold (which makes up 41 percent of all Swiss imports from the South American country and is worth $64 million annually) or one of the thousands of bunches of Ecuadorian cut flowers imported each year (worth $17 million).What about Swiss exports to Ecuador? After chemical products and machinery are Swiss watches, of course, worth $5 million in 2011 alone. — Mona ChalabiFURTHER READINGSpain Is Now an Underdog to Make the Knockout Stage
The unconscionable violence that has ravaged Chicago claimed college basketball recruit Michael Haynes Thursday night when he was shot and killed in front of his home while trying to break up a fight.The assailant of Haynes, a 6-foot-7 forward who had committed to Iona College in New York, remains at large. Hayne was 22.He played ast season at Indian Hills CC in Ottumwa, Iowa and had originally committed to University of Texas-El Paso but never played for the Miners. He was ranked the No. 11 recruit in the state of Illinois by ChicagoHoops.com following his junior season at Washington High School, during which he averaged 17 points and 22 rebounds.“We’re shocked and deeply saddened by this news,” Indian Hills coach Barret Peery told the Ottumwa Courier. “He was such a great kid and a great member of our team. Michael was a great friend to all his teammates and a great kid overall. He’ll truly be missed.”Police said Haynes was shot in the wrist, chest and lower back while trying to break up a fight over a stolen necklace near his home. His cousin, Kandice Blouin, 25. said several men were shoving each other when Haynes pushed the shooter, who pulled out a gun and shot him.“He was an innocent victim, very loved by everybody,” Haynes’ cousin, Kandice Blouin told the Chicago Sun-Times. “He was our meal ticket. He was going to heal this hood and they took his life.”“It’s just so hard,” Iona coach Tim Cluess said. “I don’t know how to describe it. Once you got to know Michael you just couldn’t wait to coach him. He came from a very rough area in Chicago and he just wanted to make a better life for himself. He was just looking for a chance to change his life.”Haynes was part of a nine-member recruiting class assembled by Cluess and his staff and was expected to be a contributor in the frontcourt. He was one of just two of the nine recruits not to already be on campus taking summer courses.Chicago is been a virtual war zone. Murders this year have risen by nearly 40 per cent and are projected to reach about 504 killings or 42 a month.
Danica Patrick was ‘sad to inform’ her fans on Tuesday, that her and husband Paul Hospenthal are divorcing after seven years of marriage.Patrick made the announcement through her Facebook page hours after posting a video to thank fans for voting her the most popular driver on NASCAR’s mid-tier Nationwide Series circuit.“I am sad to inform my fans that after seven years, Paul and I have decided (to) amicably end our marriage,” she said. “This isn’t easy for either of us, but mutually it has come to this. He has been an important person and friend in my life and that’s how we will remain moving forward.”Hospenthal, a physical therapist, met Patrick while treating her for a non-racing injury. They were married in 2005.The news comes as Patrick just finished her first full season in NASCAR, after leaving IndyCar. She ran the full Nationwide schedule and 10 Sprint Cup races.In nine Cup starts, Patrick had her best finish earlier this month, finishing 24th at Texas and running every lap for the first time. Patrick has been involved in wrecks or plagued by maintenance issues in her past races.Tony Gibson, Ryan Newman’s former crew for Stewart-Haas Racing, played a big part in Patrick’s success in her last two races ath the end of the season. He helped her to finish 10th in Nationwide points, surpassing Sara Christian’s 1949 record of finishing 13th in the Cup series. Gibson plans to become Patrick’s full-time crew chief starting next year.Patrick’s notoriety has declined since the beginning of her career in IndyCar. There was talk that her appeal had dwindled with advertisers, but Go Daddy has pledge their allegiance with Patrick. The website domain provider will continue to use her in commercials during next year’s Super Bowl. They have also committed sponsor her during the Cup schedule next season.
Then-freshman pitcher Shelby Hursh winds up a pitch during a game against Michigan State March 22, 2014 at Buckeye Field. OSU won 11-7. Credit: Lantern File PhotoWith spring rapidly approaching, the Ohio State softball team is set to kick off its 2016 season in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, on Friday.The Buckeyes are first scheduled to take the field against the University of the Pacific at 10:30 a.m., followed by a game against No. 3 Louisiana State later that evening.As of Jan. 26, OSU is unranked in the USA Today/National Fastpitch Coaches Association poll but is receiving votes. This weekend’s tournament sets the stage for the Buckeyes as they look to pave a road to the Big Ten tournament in May.Friday marks the first time the Buckeyes will face Pacific since 2014, when OSU won 4-1. The Buckeyes have not seen LSU as an opponent since 2013, when the Tigers shut out the Scarlet and Gray 7-0.However, OSU coach Kelly Kovach Schoenly, said she is not worried about facing these teams again.“We want to challenge ourselves and face the best out there,” she said. “That’s why we picked this tournament.”Pacific, which finished 19-36 in 2015, is returning its top five hitters, led by senior outfielder Sara Anderson. Because of their performances last season, sophomore utility player Molly Bourne and senior second baseman Nicole Zapotoczny were named to the All-West Coast Conference preseason team.LSU is returning four out of its five top hitters, who combined for 203 RBIs in 2015.Like Pacific, the Tigers are a formidable presence at the plate, but Schoenly said she does not see it as a threat.“Our plan is to limit their hitters with change of speeds,” Schoenly said. “We will need to have some clutch plays throughout the game to hold their offense in check.”LSU finished third in the 2015 College World Series, making its postseason experience clear to the Buckeyes.“LSU is a dynamic team. They can hit, run and pitch,” Schoenly said.For the Buckeyes, coming out ready to play from the first inning will be a key. With such commanding opponents on Friday, OSU hopes to govern the diamond and attack the game.“The key to our weekend is to be aggressive,” Schoenly said. “Pitch aggressive, hit aggressive, stay aggressive defensively.”On Saturday, the Buckeyes are scheduled to face Connecticut and North Florida, making it vital to gain momentum from Friday’s games.The Huskies finished 18-35 in 2015, while the Ospreys finished with a winning record of 31-28. Both teams are returning key offensive players and their top pitchers on the mound.For the Buckeyes, however, the focus is first on Friday’s games before turning the page to the following day.“Our goal is to start our weekend aggressive and attack on both sides of the ball,” Schoenly said.Fresh facesThis season, the Buckeyes welcome five freshmen to the team, along with sophomore pitcher Shelby McCombs, a transfer from Louisville. Even though some of these players saw action during the 2015 fall season, Friday is a fresh beginning for all of them.Schoenly said she is excited to see what the young OSU players can deliver on the field.“We have some young players that will get their first chance at playing for the Buckeyes, and they have the ability to impact the game significantly,” she said.The road aheadAfter this weekend, OSU is scheduled to head to Atlanta for the Atlantic Coast Conference/Big Ten Challenge from Feb. 19-21 to continue its weekend tournament play.“I am looking forward to seeing this team start this journey,” Schoenly said.
Cavaliers’ Small Forward Lebron James (23) gathers his team members for a pep-talk before their preseason game at the Schottenstein Center on Oct. 18. The Cavs lost 96-91. Credit: Mason Swires | Assistant Photo EditorThe 2016-17 NBA season tips off on Tuesday, unveiling the first chapter in several storylines around the league this year.A lot has happened in the league since the end of last season, contributing to rivalries between teams, creating new enemies for players, and causing bad blood between players and their former organizations. Kevin Durant left Oklahoma City to sign with the Golden State Warriors, and Russell Westbrook is now locked in, for at least two years, as the lone superstar on the Thunder. Veteran shooting guard Dwyane Wade left the Miami Heat to sign with his hometown team, the Chicago Bulls, and former Bulls players Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah have joined the New York Knicks.In the midst of all of these moves, LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers are looking to defend their franchise’s first championship after they defeated the Golden State Warriors in Game 7 of the 2016 NBA Finals, bringing the city of Cleveland its first major sports championship in 52 years.With all of this and more, here are some predictions for the upcoming season.Eastern Conference Champions: Cleveland CavaliersComing into this season, the Cavs are the favorites to make it to the Finals again, and rightfully so. This season’s Cavs team might be better than the teams of the last two seasons, with the pressure to win a championship is gone. They know what it takes to get back to the Finals and to win it all.Unlike the past two seasons, the Cavs will begin this season fully healthy and with Tyronn Lue as their head coach. After re-establishing himself as the best all-around player in the world after his MVP performance in the 2016 Finals, James will have an MVP caliber season, and Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving will both have their best seasons as Cavaliers. Add in key acquisitions of veteran sharpshooter Mike Dunleavy and Chris “Birdman” Anderson, and the Cavs look geared to make their third consecutive NBA Finals.However, they will be tested, as the Indiana Pacers, the Boston Celtics, the Knicks and the Bulls have improved their rosters. But in a seven-game series in the postseason, none of the Eastern Conference teams will be able to stop Cleveland.Western Conference Champions: Golden State WarriorsFor Golden State fans, the mourning of losing in the NBA Finals after having a 3-1 series lead was put to rest quickly this offseason when Durant signed with the Warriors. The Warriors, known for their deep bench and their “strength in numbers” slogan, lost several key players in the offseason, including Harrison Barnes, Andrew Bogut and Marreese Speights, to name a few. But replacing these players is Durant, arguably one of the top three players in the league.Not to mention, the team also still has back-to-back MVP Steph Curry, who was the league’s first unanimous MVP in history. Add in Klay Thompson, Draymond Green, Andre Iguodala and offseason addition David West, and the Warriors come into the season as the odds-on favorite to not only make it to the Finals, but to win it all.While they will be challenged by the ever-present San Antonio Spurs, the Los Angeles Clippers and the Thunder, the Warriors will be a handful for any team in a single game, let alone a best-of-seven series. The Warriors will not win 73 games again. But after they start to click, they may be the regular season’s most dominant team yet again. NBA Champions: Cleveland CavaliersThe Cavs and Warriors seem to be on a crash course to meet for the third straight season in the NBA Finals, potentially making one of the greatest Finals trilogies in NBA history. If everything goes according to plan and both teams come into the championship round at full force, it will be the ultimate finale to the trilogy. While both teams know each other’s strengths and weaknesses, the addition of Kevin Durant will change the dynamic of the series. But like most super teams, the Warriors will face problems in their first year together and won’t be able to close the deal. James has been Durant’s biggest weakness throughout his career, and this Cavs team has gotten over the hump and is more confident now than ever.This may be the best team James will ever play on. The series will be another great one, and might even go to seven games again. But in the end, the Cavs will win their second consecutive NBA Championship.MVP: Russell WestbrookNow that Durant is out of Oklahoma City, Westbrook will not have to worry about taking a back seat this season. He is now the No. 1 option for the Thunder. He will take the last shot in a close game, and he will have the ball in his hands at the game’s most crucial moments. Already a top-five player, Westbrook is one of the league’s most ruthless competitors and is capable of averaging almost 30 points per game this season. With his athleticism and explosiveness at the point guard position, he has the chance to average close to a triple-double. While the Thunder likely will not be as good as they were last year, Westbrook will shine in his new role and put the league on notice.Other NotablesAll-NBA First Team(G) Steph Curry – Golden State Warriors(G) Russell Westbrook – Oklahoma City Thunder(F) LeBron James – Cleveland Cavaliers(F) Kevin Durant – Golden State Warriors(C) DeAndre Jordan – Los Angeles ClippersScoring Champion: James Harden – Houston RocketsCoach of the Year: Brad Stevens – Boston CelticsRookie of the Year: Joel Embiid – Philadelphia 76ersDefensive Player of the Year: Kawhi Leonard – San Antonio SpursMost improved player: D’Angelo Russell – Los Angeles LakersSixth Man of the Year: Jamal Crawford – Los Angeles Clippers
First-year women’s lacrosse coach Alexis Venechanos said she is still learning about her players and her young team is still trying to get better. “We have a lot to work on but we’re happy how it’s early in the season, and we have some time,” Venechanos said. The Buckeyes lost to No. 9 Stanford, 17-5, on Saturday. “Stanford is a tremendous team and you can tell they are the more experienced team right now,” Venechanos said. Venechanos, who was named coach in July 2010 following former coach Sue Stimmel’s resignation, said that being here since the fall has made the transition a little bit easier. “The fall was a smooth transition in getting to know the team,” she said. Venechanos has been a part of four national championship teams, two as a player at Maryland and two as an assistant coach at Northwestern. Having been in those positions, she said she isn’t worried about the tough loss to Stanford. “These tough games will get us in better situations toward the end of the season,” she said. Junior midfielder Alayna Markwordt agreed that having the new coach since the summer has made the change a little easier. “It’s been a good transition,” she said. “We’ve learned a lot this year.” The Buckeyes won their two previous games against American University and St. Bonaventure before the loss to Stanford. Markwordt said the team is looking to avoid these types of losses when it had played well the two games before. “We’re waiting for that moment where we put it all together,” Markwordt said. OSU (2-3) will look to bounce back as it hosts Canisius (1-1) at 1 p.m. Monday at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium.
OSU men’s track associate head coach Brice Allen signals the runners during a race at the Buckeye Classic Jan. 10 at French Field House.Courtesy of OSU athleticsJust as one season ends, another begins.The Ohio State men and women’s track and field teams begin the transition this weekend from the indoor season to the outdoor season, and are expecting a few hurdles with the change.The men’s team is set to travel to Nashville, Tenn., to compete in the Vanderbilt Black and Gold Invitational. Although the athletes have been competing since January, associate head coach Brice Allen said the transition from indoor to outdoor is harder than it would appear.“It takes some time,” Allen said. “It takes the guys about three to four weeks in their training cycle to exhibit their full talent in the outdoor season.”Allen compared the first outdoor meet in March to the first meet of the season in January — the Buckeye Classic in Columbus — and said it is “as if they start all over again.” He is confident, however, that once the team gets back in the swing of running outdoors it can start building for the conference meet in May.“We are going to SEC country (this weekend), so we always want to be competitive,” Allen said. “But we also understand that there is going to be some adjustments during the meet.”Along with getting used to how different it is competing outside, the Buckeyes are excited to show what they can do in some events that had the winter off. Three field events — the hammer and discus throw along with the javelin — are slated to get underway. Other events competing for the first time this year include a 10K race, 4×100-meter relay, 1500-meter run, steeplechase, a 110-meter hurdle race and a 400-meter hurdle race.Throwing the javelin, sophomore Bill Stanley is set to see his first action of the 2014 season after coming out of winter hibernation.In the 2013 Black and Gold Invite, Stanley set a program record for the javelin throw in his first attempt as a college athlete when he unleashed a toss of 72.16 meters to finish in first place.The women are also set to make their way south to compete outdoors in the Yellow Jacket Invitational in Atlanta.Women’s distance coach Sara Vergote said the women’s team training hasn’t changed a whole lot as they make the transition into a new season.“This is an opportunity for us to compete in some nicer weather and to get our feet wet in the outdoor season,” Vergote said.Vergote said the work ethic remains the same as the team moves forward, but the its biggest concern is making sure every athlete is healthy before it really gets rolling with the outdoor season.The teams are set to get races underway Friday and Saturday at the Georgia Tech and Vanderbilt campuses. The men are scheduled to begin at 4 p.m. Friday and 10 a.m. Saturday, while the women are set to start at 6 p.m. Friday and 10:30 a.m. Saturday.
Urban Meyer prepares to run out on to the field with the team prior to the Ohio State- Oklahoma game on Sep. 9. Credit: Jack Westerheide | Photo EditorFour days prior to Ohio State’s Week 3 matchup against Army (2-0), the Buckeyes (1-1, 1-0) released their third depth chart of the 2017 season with minor changes, despite just having lost 31-16 to Oklahoma Saturday night.The only difference in this recently-released depth chart compared to last week’s is the designation between starting defensive ends Sam Hubbard, Tyquan Lewis, Jalyn Holmes and Nick Bosa. Previously, there was an “OR” between the starters and backups. But in this iteration, that has been changes to “AND/OR,” which was likely changed due to all four defensive ends playing together at the same time.Redshirt sophomore quarterback Joe Burrow, who suffered a broken hand, but was seen throwing passes before the Ohio State game, remains unlisted on the depth chart. Sophomore wideout Austin Mack exited last game after hitting his head on the ground when making a 31-yard catch, but coach Urban Meyer said he is “probable” for the Saturday’s game. He is listed as a co-starter, as he was in prior editions of the depth chart.Running backs Mike Weber and J.K. Dobbins remain listed as co-starters.
She said: “It’s good news, although we have faced delay after delay in the matter. “We want to see them all in court, local politicians, police, army, and that includes the officers, not just ordinary soldiers. “We will see them all in court, and we don’t care what age they are.” DCI Ian Harrison, leading the investigation, said: “Police have concluded interviews with former military personnel and are in the process of compiling a report for the Public Prosecution Service. The families have been informed of this and we will continue to keep them updated in relation to developments.” The £191 million, 12-year-long Saville Inquiry concluded in 2010 the killings had been “unjustified and unjustifiable” and David Cameron said he was “deeply sorry”.Critics of prosecutions have argued a line should be drawn under the events of the Troubles and have said paratroopers are being unfairly pursued, while IRA crimes are not being investigated.Eamonn McCann, a Northern Ireland assembly member who has campaigned for the families, said: “This is a significant development, another turning point in our long and winding road.”We who are still campaigning are certain there should be a resolution of this, because after all, Saville said our loved ones were killed and there has to be a judicial outcome from that.“It cannot be the case that people can be shot down by the State and there be no accounting for the killings.“Many of the families and their now extended relatives, which amounts to many, many relatives, want to see and must see prosecutions, and in the end, convictions, even if those involved and convicted don’t spend a day in jail.”Kate Nash, whose brother Jim was one of those shot dead that day, said, “Our immediate reaction is relief, that this part of the matter is finished, so it seems. But sources said only between 15 and 20 soldiers who opened fire on the day have been quizzed.All the men apart from one were interviewed at police stations in mainland Britain after they won a High Court battle against being interviewed in Northern Ireland, where they said their lives were at risk.Lawyers for the paratroopers had said earlier that they were likely to either refuse to comment during their police interviews, or refer detectives to statements they had given earlier.Soldiers of the Parachute Regiment shot dead 13 civilians during on January 30, 1972, while another died five months later from injuries sustained on the day. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings. Up to 20 former soldiers have been quizzed by police over possible prosecutions for the Bloody Sunday shootings it has been disclosed, as detectives said they had finished their interviews and were drawing up a report for prosecutors.Campaigners for the families of the 14 people who died when troops opened fire at a 1972 civil rights march in Londonderry welcomed the decision as a “significant development” in their campaign to have troops put on trial.The Ministry of Defence has warned scores of former paratroopers now in their 60s and 70s that they could called in for questioning after the controversial decision to begin a criminal investigation into the shootings.
Doris Lessing, the writer Several war heroes will also find their names in the dictionary, from Sir Robert Clark, who operated behind enemy lines with the partisans in Italy as a young SOE officer, to Ulric Cross, the most highly decorated Caribbean serviceman of the Second World War, and Sir Steuart Pringle, who survived an IRA bomb in 1981.Foreign reporter Richard Beeston will be honoured, along with Boris Berezovsky , the exiled Russian oligarch who died in mysterious circumstances, Paralympian swimmer and wheelchair racer Chris Hallam, and Bert Trautmann, a former German prisoner-of-war who became goalkeeper for Manchester City and played in the 1956 FA Cup Final despite having a broken neck. She is one of 59 new women to grace the biography pages, making up just a quarter of the total additions. Only five entries are from black or minority ethnic backgrounds.Lady Thatcher’s entry, which does not pull any punches in describing the late Prime Minister’s attributes and weaknesses, concludes: “There are times when nations may need rough treatment. For good and for ill, Thatcher gave Britain plenty of it.”It describes Lady Thatcher as “deeply and romantically patriotic”, relishing battle, devoid of sentiment, resorting to “devious means” to undermine her cabinet and yet the only 20th century leader to lend her name to an ideology in the shape of Thatcherism. Lady Thatcher photographed in 1987 Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings. More unusual entries include Fiona Gore, Countess of Arran, who was nicknamed “the fastest granny on water”, wrestler Mick McManus, and Lewis Morley, the photographer who shot the infamous picture of a nude Christine Keeler amid the scandal of the Profumo Affair.Sir David Frost, the broadcaster, is joined by Alan Whicker, Sir Denis Forman of Granada Television, and Alasdair Milne, the director-general of the BBC ousted in 1987 after a series of confrontations with Lady Thatcher’s government.David Coleman, the long-serving presenter of Grandstand and inspiration for Private Eye’s Colemanballs column, had entered the ranks, along with Christopher Martin-Jenkins, the much-loved cricket correspondent for the Daily Telegraph, and longest-serving commentator for Test Match Special. Richard Briers as Tom and Felicity Kendall as Barbara in The Good Life In a long and proud history, Britain has celebrated a veritable who’s who of great public figures from Shakespeare to Wellington, with a plethora of kings and queens thrown in.Baroness Margaret Thatcher today takes her place in that official hall of fame, as she enters the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, awarded the third longest entry in its pages. Lady Thatcher has joined a small band of elite public figures to be honoured with their own separate book detailing their Oxford DNB entry, with an enormous 33,648-word biography detailing her background, long career and legacy.The submission narrowly beats the entry for Sir Winston Churchill, at 33,268 words, making Lady Thatcher’s biography the most significant of any politician. David Frost, the broadcaster Margaret Thatcher at 10 Downing Street in 1983 Nobel Laureate entries include the chemists Frederick Sanger and Sir John Cornforth, Sir Robert Edwards who helped develop ofin vitro fertilization, economist Ronald Coase, writer Doris Lessing and poet Seamus Heaney.Entertainers making the grade this year include Mel Smith, Mike and Bernie Winters, Eddie Braben and Tom Sharpe, as well as writer Iain Banks, sculptor Sir Anthony Caro, composer Sir John Tavener and Mick Aston, who turned Time Team into an unlikely ratings hit. Pointing out that the “dictionary has never been merely a compendium of the great and good”, a spokesman for the ODNB also announced the 2017 update would include “determined villains” of the Great Train Robbery, Bruce Reynolds and Ronnie Biggs, who both died in 2013 50 years after the crime made them notorious.Following the 2017 update, the Oxford DNB records 60,302 people in 72 million words and is available online now. It follows accolades in her lifetime including a peerage, a Order of the Garter, the Order of Merit, and fellowship of the Royal Society.The ODNB, which used to be published in a 60-volume printed set costing £6,500, is now updated online only, but remains the national record of “men and women who have made an impact on all walks of British life”.Other high-profile entries this year include six Nobel Laureates, a Paralympian, veteran broadcasters, the Telegraph’s former cricket correspondent and the notorious Great Train Robbers. Mick McManus, the wrestler, with Tommy Cooper It is surpassed in length only by Shakespeare and Elizabeth I, beating leading figures in history including Cromwell, Henry VIII, Queen Victoria and Wellington.Written by Sir David Cannadine, it will also be published as a book in its own right, complete with additional content such as pictures, letters and copies of official documents.Lady Thatcher is one of 241 new entries to the ODNB this year, all made up of notable figures who died in 2013 in line with the convention that editors wait four years to best judge who should go down in history. Sir Winston Churchill