London: England batsman Jonny Bairstow can’t wait for the “biggest summer” of his cricket career to get underway with the World Cup this month but he also expects it to be the most gruelling as the Ashes is lined up just a few weeks later. Bairstow, who scored 445 runs from 10 matches for Sunrisers Hyderabad in his debut IPL season, will be a key player for the England in the World Cup starting May 30 in the United Kingdom. The World Cup will end on July 14 and the Ashes, against arch-rivals Australia, will start August 1. “It is huge. It is the biggest summer I will ever be involved in. It is the biggest ever summer for English cricket full stop,” he told ‘The Daily Telegraph’. “A World Cup and an Ashes; it is going to be amazing. You dream of winning them. If you can’t dream about that and think what that is going to feel like then what is the point (of playing)? “At the same time you know it is going be a gruelling summer. Five Tests at the end of World Cup is going to be tough, mentally and physically,” he added. Bairstow played alongside Australia’s David Warner, who came back after serving a one-year ban for his role in the infamous ball-tampering scandal, in the IPL. Speaking of his impressions of the controversial but swashbuckling batsman from Down Under, Bairstow said, “I think that experience (ball-tampering) can only change you as a person. He was a very good team-mate, he passed on a lot of knowledge about local bowlers, game-plans, pitches, everything. He was excellent.” All praise he might be for Warner but the Englishman said there would be no love lost when the two square off during the Ashes. “We can say hello now. We did not have a connection before, but now we’ve played together and done well together and had a good partnership it will make a difference. “We spent five weeks together having dinner and coffees. It changes things but it will still be England versus Australia,” he said. Bairstow also spoke of an interaction with England football manager Gareth Southgate, who was widely credited for the team’s run till semifinals of the FIFA World Cup last year. The batsman, however, did not elaborate on the interaction. “The biggest thing for us will be home support, playing in front of our own fans. We heard from Gareth Southgate last week. He was brilliant. A lovely guy. The football lads were so meticulous in their planning for the World Cup last year.
OTTAWA — The Canadian Real Estate Association raised its forecast for home sales this year, helped by economic fundamentals and falling mortgage rates.The organization says national home sales are now projected to rise to 482,000 units this year, up five per cent from 2018. In June, CREA predicted sales to climb 1.2 per cent to 463,000 this year.The improved outlook for the year came as CREA reported home sales in August were up five per cent compared with the same month last year.Home sales were up in most of the country’s largest markets, including B.C.’s Lower Mainland, Calgary, Winnipeg, the Greater Toronto Area, Ottawa and Montreal.The actual national average price for a home sold in August was about $493,500, up almost four per cent from the same month last year.Excluding the Greater Toronto and Greater Vancouver regions, the national average price was less than $393,000, while the year-over-year gain was 2.7 per cent. The Canadian Press