Weekly Digest (Jan 18-24): From India's historic series win at Gabba to Tokyo Olympics uncertainty

Indian cricket team braved all odds to clinch the Border-Gavaskar Trophy 2-1 at Brisbane while IOC and Japanese government squashed report of Tokyo Olympics being cancelled.

India won the Border-Gavaskar Trophy 2-1 against Australia by beating the host at the Gabba for the first time since 1988.   -  getty images

CRICKET

India found new stars such as Shubman Gill, Washington Sundar, Shardul Thakur and Mohammed Siraj among others who surprised the Aussies with their never-say-die spirit.   -  GETTY IMAGES

 

Cheteshwar Pujara took the hits and Rishabh Pant counterpunched with an unbeaten 89 as India chased down a record total to win the Border-Gavaskar trophy with three overs and three wickets to spare on the last day of the series. The injury-depleted India squad played with no fear, ending Australia’s unbeaten run at the Gabba that dated to 1988. (REPORT)

India head coach Ravi Shastri described rookie pacer Mohammed Siraj as the find of the Australia tour, hailing him for playing a key role in the historic Test series win despite personal loss and racial abuse from spectators Down Under. (REPORT)

He "aged 10 years in about one hour" thanks to Rishabh Pant and Washington Sundar. Team India's long-serving fielding coach R Sridhar was in the thick of things as the side battled adversity after adversity before its "unreal" Test series win over a mighty Australia. In a conversation, Sridhar opened up about the emotional roller-coaster that the tour was. (REPORT)

 

India all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja said he was mentally prepared to bat for 10-15 overs despite a fractured thumb, having taken a painkiller injection during the drawn third Test against Australia in Sydney. (REPORT)

Australia needed more “attitude” from the first to the last ball while tackling India in the fourth Test in Brisbane, according to former captain Michael Clarke. Clarke said it was the negative mindset that pegged Australia back in the Test series and consigned it to a 2-1 defeat against India. (REPORT)

A "shocked" former captain Ricky Ponting found it difficult to comprehend how an "A team" from India beat Australia in the Test series in its own backyard. (REPORT)

The Indian Premier League player retentions and releases were announced by all the eight franchises on Wednesday. (FULL LIST)

Sri Lanka pace ace Lasith Malinga has decided to retire from franchise cricket, and won’t be available for the Indian Premier League. The Sri Lankan speedster conveyed his decision to the Mumbai Indians management earlier this month, making himself unavailable for the champion side's retention wish list. (REPORT)

The first two Tests of the upcoming India-England series will be played at the M A Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai behind closed doors, a top official from host association TNCA said on Friday. (REPORT)
 

FOOTBALL

Cristiano Ronaldo

Cristiano Ronaldo with the trophy after Juventus won the Italian Supercup at Mapei Stadium - Citta' del Tricolore on Wednesday in Reggio Emilia.   -  Getty Images

 

Liverpool's 68-game unbeaten home run in the Premier League came to an end as Ashley Barnes fired in a late winner from the penalty spot to secure a famous victory for Burnley. (REPORT)

AC Milan was handed a humbling 3-0 defeat at home by Atalanta on Saturday and saw its lead over city rival Inter Milan trimmed to two points. (REPORT)

The Women's Super League matches Chelsea vs Bristol City and Arsenal vs West Ham United were postponed due to heavy snowfall. (REPORT)

Arsenal centre-back Gabriel turned one into his own net as the FA Cup holder was knocked in the fourth round by Southampton. (REPORT)

Mumbai City FC beat SC East Bengal 1-0 to extend its lead atop the Indian Super League table to five points. (REPORT)

Leicester City striker Jamie Vardy will be sidelined for a few weeks as he is set to have a hernia operation. (REPORT)

Argentina and Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero had already been self-isolating after being identified as a close contact of someone infected. (REPORT)

World football's governing body FIFA says players who feature in any breakaway European Super League would be banned from playing in FIFA competitions, including the World Cup. (REPORT)

Concussion substitutes will be trialled in the Premier League in response to mounting concern over head injuries, clubs agreed Wednesday. (REPORT)

Goals from Cristiano Ronaldo and Alvaro Morata helped Juventus beat Napoli 2-0 to win the Italian Supercup on Wednesday, the annual meeting between the Coppa Italia winner and Serie A champion. (REPORT)
 

OLYMPICS

IOC President Thomas Bach and Japanese government reiterated that the postponed Tokyo Olympics will go ahead as planned contrary to the reports that suggested that the Games will be canceled. (REPORT

BADMINTON

The 27-year-old Marin, went into the final without losing a single game across the both tournaments.   -  FILE PHOTO/ PTI

 

Spain's Carolina Marin and Viktor Axelsen from Denmark on Sunday claimed their second Thailand Open badminton singles titles in a fortnight. (REPORT)

P.V. Sindhu lost in the Thailand Open quarterfinal to Ratchanok Inthanon, while Sameer Verma lost his quarters fight against Anders Antonsen of Denmark. (REPORT)

Satwiksairaj Rankireddy-Chirag Shetty lost 18-21 18-21 to world number nine Malayasian combination of Aaron Chia and Soh Wooi Yik in the semifnals of the Thailand Open. (REPORT)

HOCKEY 

The Indian women's hockey team suffered its first defeat in Argentina. (File Photo)   -  hockey india

 

Indian women’s national team was held to a 2-2 draw by Argentina’s junior team in its first match of the tour. (REPORT)

Striker Beauty Dungdung scored a hat-trick as the Indian junior women’s team thrashed the Chilean junior women’s team 5-3 in their first match of the tour. (REPORT)

V.J. Thomas, 71, former India hockey player, passed away in Chennai on Monday due to age related ailments. (REPORT)

Indian women’s team captain Rani Rampal struck in the fourth quarter as India salvaged a 1-1 draw against Argentina’s junior side in the second match of the tour. (REPORT)

An international hockey stadium with astro-turf will be built inside the Salt Lake Stadium Complex in Kolkata, West Bengal Sports Minister Aroop Biswas announced on Friday. (REPORT)

The already-deferred men’s and women’s Asian Champions Trophy tournaments were postponed "till the second half of the year" by the Asian Hockey Federation. (REPORT)

Indian women’s team suffered its defeat of its tour of Argentina as it lost as it lost 2-1 to the junior side on Saturday. (REPORT)

The Indian women’s junior team extended its unbeaten run in Chile with a 2-0 victory over Chile’s senior side. (REPORT)
 

TENNIS

Andy Murray said last Thursday that he had tested positive for the virus and was in self-isolation at his home near London. (File Photo)   -  Getty Images

 

Former world number one Andy Murray will not be taking part in next month's Australian Open after testing positive for COVID-19 earlier this month. (REPORT)

Indian tennis star Sania Mirza on Tuesday revealed that she had tested positive for COVID-19 earlier this month but has recovered since then. (REPORT)
The WTA has announced a new tournament in Melbourne for players undergoing a 14-day quarantine without an opportunity to practice ahead of the Australian Open beginning February 8. (REPORT)

The 2021 Davis Cup Finals will be held over 11 days rather than seven and will almost certainly be staged across three cities, the International Tennis Federation (ITF) confirmed on Monday. (REPORT)

World number one Novak Djokovic on Wednesday hit back at criticism of his letter to Australian Open chief Craig Tiley in which he suggested easing of quarantine restrictions, saying his good intentions were "misconstrued".(REPORT)

World number three Dominic Thiem said there is no advantage for players self-isolating in Adelaide compared to conditions in Melbourne where the vast majority are serving the 14-day quarantine requirement ahead of the Australian Open. (REPORT)

The International Tennis Federation on Saturday denied a bid by 29th-ranked Dayana Yastremska to lift a suspension for failing an out-of-competition doping test.  (REPORT)

Reigning champion Serbia, led by world number one Novak Djokovic, will play Germany and Canada in the group stage of the ATP Cup in Melbourne next week after the draw was made on Friday.

(REPORT)


World No. 1 Ash Barty is itching to get back to competitive tennis at the Australian Open but has poured cold water on the idea that she might be set to end the 43-year wait for a homegrown women’s champion. (REPORT)

One case of COVID-19 among those in quarantine ahead of the Australian Open has been reclassified, leaving nine active cases in the group of players and support staff isolating in Melbourne hotels. (REPORT)

UFC

 

Dustin Poirier stopped Conor McGregor with a flurry of punches midway through the second round on Sunday, avenging his loss to the Irish superstar with a knockout victory at UFC 257. (REPORT)
 

SHOOTING

The National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) has announced the team for the Shotgun World Cup scheduled to be held in Cairo, Egypt, from February 22. (REPORT)

The Sports Ministry has approved shooters Manu Bhaker and Angad Vir Singh Bajwa's proposal to hire the services of Singapore-based sports psychologist Sanjana Kiran for better preparation ahead of the Tokyo Olympics. (REPORT)

BOXING

Former Maharashtra sports minister Ashish Shelar filed his nomination for the Boxing Federation of India president's post and expressed confidence about sweeping the BFI elections on February 3. (REPORT)

The Boxing Federation of India (BFI) has initiated a zonal representation system for talent identification. (REPORT)

Kavinder Bisht isn’t among the nine Indian boxers who have already qualified for the Olympics. With six months left for the all-important event, he has just one chance to grab his berth – at the World Olympic Qualifiers scheduled to be held in June in Paris. Bisht is hoping 2021 will be the year he realises his dream of participating in the Olympics for the first time. (REPORT)

ATHLETICS

The athletes have to make their own arrangements of boarding, lodging and local transport for their participation in Indian Grand Prix. (REPRESENTATIVE IMAGE)   -  Getty Images

 

World Athletics president Sebastian Coe said there is "an absolute, cast iron determination" to deliver the Tokyo Olympics and the arrival of COVID-19 vaccines and ability of athletes to train mean the situation is much better. (REPORT)

SAI has ensured that athletes returning to national camps at its training centres with the Olympics in mind, are able to continue training without compromising safety. (REPORT)

The country's track and field athletes will have their first shot at the Tokyo Olympics qualification during the three Indian Grand Prix Series events on February 18, 25 and Match 5 at Patiala. (REPORT)
 

CHESS

Pentala Harikrishna (3.5 points) drew with Poland’s Radoslaw Wojtaszek in 43 moves to retain the joint second spot behind leader Nils Grandelius (4) after six rounds of Tata Steel Masters chess tournament at Wijk aan Zee, in the Netherlands, on Friday. (REPORT)

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