Weekly Digest (Feb 17-24): From Tendulkar's Laureus Award to India's winning start at T20 World Cup

Here are the major updates from the week gone by, from Sachin Tendulkar's Laureus Award and Umar Akmal's suspension to Kim Clijsters' return to Tennis.

Laureus Best Sporting Moment award winner, Sachin Tendulkar, poses with the trophy.   -  Getty Images

 

CRICKET

Faf du Plessis has stepped down from the role of South Africa's captaincy in all formats with immediate effect. (REPORT)

Left-arm spinner Pragyan Ojha announced his retirement from all forms of the game, making his decision known through a statement to the Board which he put on Twitter. (REPORT)

Batting great Sachin Tendulkar being carried on the shoulders of his teammates after India’s World Cup triumph at home in 2011 was voted the Laureus best sporting moment in the last 20 years. (REPORT)

Umar Akmal’s flatter-to-deceive career took another hit when the Pakistan Cricket Board suspended the batsman with immediate effect, pending an anti-corruption investigation. (REPORT)

Ross Taylor became the first player to have played 100 matches in all three international formats of cricket. (REPORT)

The Pakistan government is conferring former West Indian captain Darren Sammy with honorary citizenship as well as its highest civilian award, Nishan-e-Haider, for his role in bringing international cricket back to the country. (REPORT)

TENNIS

Ankita Raina sailed past Berfu Cengiz in straight sets to clinch the singles title in the $25,000 ITF women’s tennis tournament in Ratanada. It is the second singles title this season and the 11th of her career singles title for Ankita on the Tour since her first in 2012. [READ MORE]

Simona Halep came back from a set down to win the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships for the second time in her career. [READ MORE]

The Indian Davis Cup team for the tie against Croatia will only be decided a day prior to the draw. [READ MORE]

Kevin Anderson is set to miss the first two ATP Masters events of the season after he underwent surgery on a knee injury. [READ MORE]

Kim Clijsters was denied a dream return to the WTA Tour as she was beaten in straight sets by Garbine Muguruza at the Dubai Tennis Championships. [READ MORE]

Roger Federer, who underwent a surgery on his troublesome right knee and will miss the French Open, targets a return for the grass court season. [READ MORE]

China has pulled out of this year's Davis Cup due to travel restrictions imposed amid the spread of the coronavirus. [READ MORE]

Casper Ruud became the first Norwegian to claim an ATP Tour title after winning the Argentina Open. [READ MORE]

FOOTBALL

Champions League

Champions League holder Liverpool lost 1-0 away to Atletico Madrid in the first leg of its last-16 clash at Wanda Metropolitano with Saul Niguez scoring the winner. (REPORT)

Jose Mourinho’s Tottenham Hotspur lost 1-0 to RB Leipzig after Timo Werner converted a penalty conceded by Ben Davies. A late rally from Spurs failed to secure an equaliser. (REPORT)

Borussia Dortmund’s Erling Halland struck twice to help the German club secure a 2-1 win over French champion Paris Saint-Germain in the first leg of the last-16 tie. Neymar scored PSG’s potentially crucial away goal. (REPORT)

Italian club Atalanta harnessed home advantage to secure a 4-1 win in the round of 16 first leg against Valencia at San Siro, with Hans Hateboer scoring once in either half. (REPORT)

Europa League

Frenchman Alexandre Lacazette scored the winner in Arsenal’s first-leg Europa League win over Olympiacos, with German playmaker Mesut Ozil missing the trip to Greece to be with his wife for the birth of their child. (REPORT)

Anthony Martial scored a potentially crucial away goal, cancelling out Emmanuel Bonaventure’s 15th-minute goal, for Manchester United, which held Belgian side Club Brugge to a 1-1 draw in the Europa League first leg of the round of 32 tie. (REPORT)

Premier League

Defending champion Manchester City eased to a 2-0 home win over West Ham United with midfielder Rodrigo and Kevin de Bruyne scoring the goals. (REPORT)

It was revealed that Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson suffered a hamstring injury that could keep him out of action for three weeks. (REPORT)

Chelsea returned to winning ways with a 2-1 win over Tottenham Hotspur in the London Derby. (REPORT)

La Liga

Defending champion Barcelona completed the signing of Martin Braithwaite from relegation-threatened Leganes after paying his €18million release clause. (REPORT)

Lionel Messi ended his four-match goal drought by scoring four past Eibar as Barcelona eased to a 5-0 win. The result took Barca to top of the La Liga table. (REPORT)

Real Madrid missed its opportunity to reclaim pole position after it went down 1-0 against Levante. (REPORT)

BUNDESLIGA

Erling Braut Haaland scored his 40th goal of the season in Borussia Dortmund’s win over Werdee Bremen. The result keeps BVB four points of table-topper Bayern Munich. (REPORT)

Indian football

AIFF general secretary Kushal Das revealed to Sportstar that the return leg of India’s FIFA World Cup qualifier against Qatar will be held at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar. (REPORT)

Bengaluru FC manager Carles Cuadrat said he’d be worried if he were Igor Stimac given the lack of goal-scorers in Indian football beyond Sunil Chhetri. (REPORT)

ISL

Last season’s finalist FC Goa created history by becoming the first Indian Super League club to secure its place in the AFC Champions League group stage after finishing top of the ISL table at the end of the league stage. (REPORT)

Chennaiyin FC secured its place in the ISL playoffs with a 1-0 win over Mumbai City FC at the Mumbai Football Arena on Friday, with former Mumbai defender Lucian Goian scoring the winner against the 10-man host after Sourav Das was shown a straight red for denying a clear goal-scoring opportunity. (REPORT)

ISL final will return to Goa on March 14 for the first time in five years, when the home side FC Goa lost 2-1 to Chennaiyin FC. (REPORT)

I-League

Mohun Bagan thumped Churchill Brothers 3-0 in the I-League. The result gives Bagan a 11-point lead at the top of the table. (REPORT)

A late Ngangom Ronald Singh goal helped Neroca FC edge out Gokulam Kerala 3-2 on Friday. (REPORT)

TABLE TENNIS

Indian paddlers G. Sathiyan and Sharath Kamal enjoyed a remarkable run at the Hungarian Open as the duo won the silver medal after going down to the German pairing Benedikt Duda and Patrick Franziska in the men's doubles final. [REPORT]

SHOOTING
A 15-person India squad was announced for the upcoming ISSF Shotgun World Cup in Nicosia, Cyprus on Friday, March 21. (Report)

BADMINTON

Indian shuttler Ajay Jayaram on Saturday crashed out of the men’s singles semifinals of the Barcelona Spain Masters after suffering a straight-game loss to Thailand’s Kunlavut Vitidsarn in Barcelona. (REPORT) 

China’s badminton players have been cleared of the coronavirus and will play three tournaments in Europe during a “critical stage” of Tokyo Olympic qualifying, officials said on Saturday. (REPORT)

Ace Indian shuttler Saina Nehwal crashed out of the Barcelona Spain Masters after suffering a straight-game defeat against Thailand’s Busanan Ongbamrungphan in the quarterfinals on Friday. (REPORT)
H.S. Prannoy, Parupalli Kashyap and Subhankar Dey bowed out of the 2020 Spanish Super 300 Badminton tournament in Barcelona on Wednesday. (REPORT)

HOCKEY

Alex Danson-Bennett, England and Great Britain women's hockey team all-time topscorer, announced her retirement after a prolonged absence due to a freak head injury. (REPORT)

Indian men's hockey team scored two goals in the final quarter after being 1-4 down, but lost 3-4 to Australia in the first match of the FIH Pro League tie at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar. (REPORT)

Indian men's hockey team won its first penalty shootout against Australia since 2002 after P.R. Sreejesh made three saves in the FIH Pro League second leg penalty shootout after regulation time ended 2-2. (REPORT)

KABADDI

Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju has ordered the Amateur Kabaddi Federation of India to launch an inquiry into an “unauthorised” Indian team’s participation in the circle style world cup in Pakistan. (READ)

ATHLETICS

Venezuela's Yulimar Rojas set a new indoor women’s triple jump world record of 15.43m at a meeting in Madrid. She bettered the previous world record of 15.36m set by Russia’s Tatyana Lebedeva in 2004. (Report)

Jamaican sprint queen Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, said the defence of her women's 100m sprint gold at the 2021 world championships could be her farewell from athletics. (Report)
US President Donald Trump says he is considering an invitation from Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to attend the Tokyo Olympics, scheduled for July and August. (Report)