Weekly Digest: From latest IPL news to sportspersons contributing to PM CARES

A round-up of news from the world of sport, ranging from various Indian athletes contributing to the PM CARES fund to IPL getting all but postponed.

The 13th edition of IPL was originally scheduled to begin on March 29.   -  K.V.S. Giri

CRICKET

As the country braces for another couple of weeks of lockdown, the 13th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) is set to be put on hold for now. (REPORT)

Wicket-keeper batsman Umar Akmal has decided not to appeal against the corruption charges levelled against him by the Pakistan Cricket Board, which has referred the matter to its disciplinary panel. It is alleged that Akmal failed to report a spot-fixing approach in the Pakistan Super League. The 29-year-old was provisionally suspended on February 20. (REPORT)

Salman Butt as he lashed out at those demanding a life ban on players who have been penalised for corruption. “I know players who have been added to the team because of their connections and there have been several players who have made numerous comebacks without giving any meaningful performances. Are these things different from corruption? We shouldn’t even talk about integrity in Pakistan cricket,” Butt said. (REPORT)

Fast bowling legend Michael Holding has hinted that he is unlikely to continue commentating beyond 2021 as age is catching up with him. One of the most respected voices in world cricket, the 66-year-old Holding has been with the Sky Sports for the past 21 years. (REPORT)

Australian cricketers had gone “out of control” and turned “pretty average people” two-three years before the ball-tampering scandal, says former ICC Elite Panel umpire Ian Gould, who was the TV official in the infamous Cape Town Test of 2018. (REPORT)

Australia’s unprecedented home Test series defeat to India in 2018-19 served as a “wake-up call” for Justin Langer, who reckons the series will prove as the defining moment of his coaching career. (REPORT)

The Australian Cricketers Association (ACA) has launched an Emergency Assistance Fund of USD 250,000 to provide interim relief to former and current players, who are waiting for government aid amid the COVID-19 pandemic. (REPORT)

Veteran off-spinner Harbhajan Singh said he won’t mind an IPL played in empty stadiums but the event should go ahead when the COVID-19 pandemic is brought under control as several livelihoods are dependent on it. (REPORT)

FOOTBALL

Liverpool legend Kenny Dalglish, who tested positive for coronavirus on Friday, was discharged from the hospital on Saturday. He went on to thank the NHS staff and his well-wishers, while the Scotsman also said he was ‘delighted to be back home’. (REPORT)

According to reports on Friday, the Swiss Public Prosecutor’s Office decided to drop one of two investigations against former FIFA president Sepp Blatter. (REPORT)

Qatar denied bribing FIFA officials to win the rights to host the 2022 World Cup, terming the allegations “baseless”. (REPORT)

LaLiga president Javier Tebas said on Tuesday the 2019-20 season could resume as early as May, while ruling out the possibility of voiding the campaign. (REPORT)

Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba has said he’s ‘hungry’ to return to action after being hampered by injuries throughout the 2019-20 season, in which he last featured on Boxing Day. (REPORT)


HOCKEY

Indian hockey legend Dhanraj Pillay has donated Rs. 3 lakh for the Chief Minister’s relief fund, and Rs. 5 lakh for the PM-CARES fund. (REPORT)

After suspension of its Europe leg matches of the Pro League, the Indian men’s hockey team’s home games against New Zealand have also been cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. (REPORT)

Men’s hockey’s World and European champion Belgium is taking calls for a helpline to help people in need of essentials. (REPORT)

Hockey India has donated Rs 21 lakh to Odisha Chief Minister's Relief Fund to fight the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. (REPORT)

Ashok Diwan, hero of the 1975 World Cup winning hockey team, has made a distress appeal to Indian Olympic Association (IOA) president Narinder Batra. (REPORT)
 

SHOOTING

Some of the world’s elite shooters will transform their living rooms into competition ranges on April 15 for a first-of-its-kind international online championship, the coronavirus lockdown triggering another out-of-the-box thinking. (READ)


TENNIS

Novak Djokovic again showed he is a match for an Andy Murray challenge - even in a lockdown! (REPORT)

The French tennis federation has set up a support plan worth $38 million to help professional players facing financial problems because of the virus. (REPORT)

ATP chairman Andrea Gaudenzi said that he remained optimistic the tennis season could resume in August but warned that not being able to play again this year was a possibility. (REPORT)

The International Tennis Federation (ITF) announced a range of new measures to help its staff, with the governing body's president David Haggerty taking a voluntary 30-percent pay cut. (REPORT)

The 2020 edition of the Wimbledon had to be cancelled, but The All England Club is set to pocket over £100 million due to the insertion of a virus-related clause in the insurance policy. (REPORT)

The likes of Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal could be set to face each other online after the cancelled Madrid Open tennis tournament announced it will run a virtual competition later this month. (REPORT)

Nick Kyrgios has vowed to help anyone who has fallen on hard times by delivering food to their doorstep. (REPORT)

Australian Open semifinalist and German star Alexander Zverev suspects he contracted coronavirus in December. (REPORT)
 

MOTORSPORT

Motorsport legend Stirling Moss passed away on April 12, aged 90, battling long-term illness. He is widely considered to be the finest driver never to win a Formula One world championship. (READ)

F1 is considering having ‘closed races’ once the season is able to start after the pandemic, according to the sport’s managing director Ross Brawn. (READ)

The Canadian GP, which was earmarked as the opening race for an altered calendar, has been postponed too, becoming the ninth race to be affected by COVID-19. (READ)

F1 joins other sporting bodies as it has decided to furlough its staff until the end of May, with senior executives taking pay cuts too. (READ)

It remains unknown when the MotoGP season will start as two more races, the Italian and Catalunya GP, were the latest to be postponed. (READ)


BADMINTON

The escalation in COVID-19 pandemic globally, Badminton World Federation (BWF) has suspended the cash-rich Indonesia Open and three others, besides a para event and a number of Grade 3 competitions to be held between May and July this year. (REPORT)

The already rescheduled Thomas and Uber Cup on Tuesday came under fresh doubts following the Danish government’s decision to extend a ban on “larger gatherings” in the country until the end of August. (REPORT)
 

WRESTLING

Japan’s sumo association on Friday confirmed its first coronavirus case, in a new blow for the ancient sport, which has already been forced to move one tournament behind closed doors and postpone others. (REPORT)

United World Wrestling (UWW) has decided to hold the remaining Olympic Games qualifying events in the ‘same period’ next year.

Following the coronavirus outbreak, the UWW postponed three of the four Olympic qualifiers scheduled last month. It organised the Pan-American Olympic qualifier in Ottawa last month, but had to postpone the African/Oceania, European and Asian qualifying events. (REPORT)

The Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) may hold fresh trials to complete the selection process before the start of Asian and World qualifying tournaments, said its secretary V.N. Prasood on Monday. The WFI was mulling this move in the wake of postponement of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and the subsequent cancellation of qualifying tournaments due to COVID-19 pandemic. (REPORT)


TABLE TENNIS

The table tennis world championships, which were originally scheduled for March 2020, will now be held from September 27 to October 4, the ITTF has announced. (READ)

Sathiyan Gnanasekaran is making the most of the lockdown. The top-ranked Indian paddler is training with an imported robot at his Chennai residence! (READ)

Former India paddler and reigning Telangana No. 1 Aman Balgu is doing his bit during the time of COVID-19 by distributing sanitizers and face masks to Police stations, while 15-year-old Payas Jain is using the break to focus on his fitness and to practise with his siblings. (READ)
 

BOXING

Former world champion Carl Frampton fears boxing could take “months or possibly years” to recover from the damage caused by the coronavirus pandemic. (REPORT)

Tyson Fury feels Deontay Wilder's motivation to fight him for a third time comes down to the lucrative purse on offer. (REPORT)
 

SWIMMING

USA Swimming has rescheduled the Olympic trials for June 2021. It will be staged in Omaha, Nebraska, at the same venue where they were intended to be contested in June, 2020. (REPORT)
 

ATHLETICS

The World Athletics Championships has been moved to July 2022 to avoid clashing with the Tokyo Olympics, which has been because of the coronavirus outbreak. (Report)

About 6,500 athletes who already have earned their spots for the Tokyo Games are in for 2021 under redrawn qualifying regulations published by the International Olympic Committee. (Report)

The chief executive of Tokyo Olympics, Toshiro Muto said he can’t guarantee the postponed Games will be staged next year — even with a 16-month delay. (Report)