2021, The Year In Sports: December recall

2021, The Year In Sports: From the Rohit-Virat captaincy saga to Max Verstappen claiming the F1 drivers' title, here is a look at the top sporting moments from December.

Max Verstappen

F1 champion Max Verstappen at the Red Bull Racing Factory on December 15.   -  Getty Images

From the Rohit-Virat captaincy saga to Max Verstappen claiming the F1 drivers' title, here is a look at the top sporting moments from December.

Dec 3: More exits from Yorkshire

Yorkshire's director of cricket Martyn Moxon and head coach Andrew Gale left the troubled county side along with the entire coaching staff as the fallout from the Azeem Rafiq racism scandal raged on.

Dec 4: 10/10 for Ajaz

Ajaz Patel became the third cricketer to scalp all 10 wickets in an innings as New Zealand bundled out India for 325 on the second day of the second Test at the Wankhede Stadium.

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Dec 8: Rohit replaces Kohli as India's white-ball captain

Rohit Sharma replaced Virat Kohli as India's ODI captain as well, after the latter stepped down as T20I skipper earlier.

Dec 8: Barca fails to qualify for UCL knockouts

Barcelona failed to qualify for the knockout rounds of the Champions League for the first time in 18 years after a 3-0 loss to Bayern Munich.

 

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Dec 9: India A wins Senior Women’s Challenger Trophy

C. H. Jhansi Lakshmi (64, 70b, 9x4) and Yastika Bhatia (86, 102b, 10x4, 1x6) helped India A beat India D by three wickets in the final of the BCCI Senior Women’s Challenger Trophy at the Mulapadu Cricket Complex in Vijayawada.

Dec 9: India women out of Asian Champions Trophy after a player tests COVID-19 positive

The Indian women's hockey team was forced out of the ongoing Asian Champions Trophy after one of its players tested positive for COVID-19, joining Malaysia which was also forced to withdraw from the tournament after being hit by virus in Donghae, South Korea.

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Dec 10: Magnificent Magnus!

Norway’s Magnus Carlsen beat Ian Nepomniachtchi of Russia to claim his fifth World Chess Championship title.

Dec 11: Arjun, Ravi strike Asian rowing gold

Indian rowers Arjun Lal Jat and Ravi won the gold medal in the men's double sculls event, while Parminder Singh bagged a silver in the men's single sculls competition at the Asian Rowing Championships in Bangkok.

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Dec 12: Max effort!

Red Bull's Max Verstappen took his first Formula One title, denying rival Lewis Hamilton a record eighth, with a last lap overtake to win the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix that started and ended in drama and controversy.

Dec 13: Champions League draw 2.0

UEFA was forced to redo the Champions League draw after initially pairing Manchester United with Villarreal even though the English club’s name should not have been placed in that bowl since the two advanced from the same group. Next, Man United’s name was mistakenly not included among possible opponents for Atletico Madrid when it should have been.

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Dec 14: Curry scripts history

Stephen Curry hit his 2,974th 3-pointer in the first quarter of the Golden State Warriors’ game against the New York Knicks, breaking the all-time NBA record set by Ray Allen.

Dec 15: Aguero announces retirement

Sergio Aguero announced his retirement from football at the age of 33 after being diagnosed with a heart condition, bringing the curtain down on an 18-year career during which he scored more than 400 goals.

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An FC Barcelona fan holds up a sign in support of Sergio Aguero.   -  Reuters

 

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Dec 15: Sir Lewis Hamilton

Seven-time Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton received his knighthood for services to motorsport.

Dec 19: Silver for Srikanth

Kidambi Srikanth clinched a historic silver medal in the World Badminton Championships after suffering a straight-game defeat to Loh Kean Yew of Singapore in the summit clash in Huelva, Spain to notch up the best performance by an Indian in the men's singles.

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Dec 19: Peng Shuai says she has been misunderstood

Chinese tennis star Peng Shuai said that she had never accused anyone of sexually assaulting her, and that a social media post she had made the previous month had been misunderstood.

Dec 21: India among top three in doping violations

An uptick in the number of offenders took India into the top three of the world's biggest doping violators in a WADA report detailing the transgressions for the year 2019 with bodybuilding, weightlifting and athletics contributing majorly to the country's embarrassing record.

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Dec 22: India men pick bronze in Asian Champions Trophy

Olympic bronze medallist India defeated arch-rival Pakistan 4-3 in a pulsating third-place playoff match to win the bronze medal at the Asian Champions Trophy men's hockey tournament in Dhaka.

Dec 24: Harbhajan calls it a day

India off-spinner Harbhajan Singh, who was part of the 2007 T20 World Cup and 2011 ODI World Cup winning squads, announced retirement from all forms of the game via Twitter.

Dec 26: Himachal stuns mighty Tamil Nadu for maiden Vijay Hazare Trophy title

Shubham Arora's unbeaten 136 powered Himachal Pradesh to a 11-run win (via VJD method) over the mighty Tamil Nadu side at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium in Jaipur to lift its maiden Vijay Hazare Trophy title.

Dec 28: Australia retains Ashes

Australia beat England by an innings and 14 runs before lunch on the third day of the third Ashes Test at the Melbourne Cricket Ground to retain the Ashes with a 3-0 lead in the five-match series.

Dec 30: Incredible India wins at Centurion

India became the first Asian team to win a Test match at Centurion after a crushing 113-run victory over South Africa.

Dec 30: Ross Taylor announces retirement

Veteran New Zealand batsman Ross Taylor said he will retire from international cricket after the current domestic season.

Dec 30: Quinton de Kock says goodbye to Test cricket

South Africa wicketkeeper-batsman Quinton de Kock announced his retirement from Test cricket just a few hours after he played in the defeat to India in the first Test in Centurion to give more time and space to his family.

Dec 31: Record extending eighth U-19 Asia Cup title for India

India reaffirmed its supremacy in the U-19 Asia Cup with a record eighth title as it hammered Sri Lanka by nine wickets in a rain-hit summit showdown in Dubai.

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