Weekly Digest (August 31-September 6): From IPL 2020 schedule to Messi confirming Barca stay

From the announcement of the IPL 2020 fixtures to Lionel Messi deciding to stay at Barcelona, here are the top headlines from the week gone by.

From the announcement of the IPL 2020 fixtures to Lionel Messi deciding to stay at Barcelona, here are the top headlines from the week gone by.

CRICKET

IPL 2020 fixtures were announced on Sunday. Defending champion Mumbai Indians will face Chennai Super Kings in the IPL 2020 opener on September 19 in Abu Dhabi. Complete list: (REPORT)

Chennai Super Kings suffered another blow on Friday when senior off-spinner Harbhajan Singh pulled out of IPL 2020 for personal reasons. (REPORT)

Chennai Super Kings finally hit the nets on Friday evening in the UAE after its members tested negative for the coronavirus. (REPORT)

Former England batsman Ian Bell, who was part of five Ashes-winning teams, will retire at the end of the season. (REPORT)

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England beat Australia by six wickets in the second Twenty20 match as opening batsman Jos Buttler anchored the run chase to help the home side clinch the three-match series in Southampton on Sunday. (REPORT)

Club-level cricket tournaments will begin in Bengal from December 15. “The tentative date for commencement of first and second division tournaments for the 2020-2021 season is December 15. (REPORT)

The inaugural edition of the Sri Lanka Premier League T20 tournament will be held from November 14 to December 6 this year, Sri Lanka Cricket said on Thursday. (REPORT)

FOOTBALL

Lionel Messi ended speculation about his future at Barcelona by announcing on Friday that he would reluctantly stay for another season rather than tackle his career-long club in court. (REPORT)

Nations League defending champion Portugal made light of Cristiano Ronaldo's injury absence as it swept aside Croatia 4-1 in its tournament-opener on Saturday. (REPORT)

Relegation and promotion will be an intrinsic part of Indian Super League from 2024-25 as this had been “agreed upon by all stakeholders,” All India Football Federation general secretary Kushal Das said. The I-League winners will get “direct slots” in the top-tier ISL in 2022 and 2023. (REPORT)

Chelsea signed Germany's highly-rated attacking midfielder Kai Havertz from Bundesliga side Bayer Leverkusen on a five-year contract. (REPORT)

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Football Sports Development Limited (FSDL), organiser of the Indian Super League, has invited bids for a new team to participate in the upcoming edition of the tournament. (REPORT)

PSG stars Angel Di Maria, Leandro Paredes and Neymar have tested positive for Coronavirus, according to a report by L'Equipe. (REPORT)

Women's Super League champion Chelsea signed Denmark international Pernille Harder from VfL Wolfsburg on Tuesday for a fee reported by British media to be around 300,000 pounds ($401,460), a record for the women's game. (REPORT)

Midge Purce scored in stoppage time to give Sky Blue a 2-1 victory over the Washington Spirit in the opening game of the National Women's Soccer League fall series. (REPORT)

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England's men's and women's national soccer teams are being paid the same appearance fee to represent their country, the FA announced. The Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF) also announced the same. (REPORT)

BADMINTON

World champion P. V. Sindhu has decided to pull out of the Thomas and Uber Cup badminton championship to be held in Aarhus, Denmark, from October 3 to 11. (REPORT)

India’s foreign coach for badminton, Agus Dwi Santoso, says he will not be able to implement his plans with only four shuttlers at his disposal, and wants the Sports Authority of India to allow more players in the national camp. (REPORT)

One of the most eagerly-awaited events in the Indian sporting calendar has been the high-profile Premier Badminton League (PBL), which in a way caught up with the IPL in terms of player participation and unearthing unknown talent. (REPORT)

MOTORSPORT

France's Pierre Gasly won an astonishing and nail-biting Italian Grand Prix for Italy-based AlphaTauri on Sunday in a race with none of the usual names on the podium. (REPORT)

Claire Williams will step down as effective boss of the Williams team after Sunday's Italian Grand Prix and following the sale to U.S.-based Dorilton Capital, the former world champion announced on Thursday. (REPORT)

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Renault will rename its team Alpine from the 2021 season, the Formula One team said in a statement ahead of the Italian Grand Prix on Sunday. The team will take on the new name and also have a new colour scheme with the French national colours of red, white and blue replacing yellow and black. (REPORT)

Ferrari junior driver Mick Schumacher, son of Michael, was an F2 winner at Monza on Saturday to lighten some of the gloom for Formula One's oldest and most glamorous team at their home Italian Grand Prix. (REPORT)

TENNIS

Former champion Andy Murray bowed out of the US Open in the second round. (REPORT)

Sumit Nagal exited the US Open with a straight set deafeat to Dominic Thiem in the second round. (REPORT)

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Serena Williams is through to the fourth round of the US Open and keeps alive her bid for a record-equalling 24th Grand Slam title. (REPORT)

India veteran Rohan Bopanna and his Canadian partner Denis Shapovalov have advanced to the quarterfinals of the US Open men’s doubles. (REPORT)

Member of Parliament, Dr. Anil Jain, has been unanimously elected as the president of the All India Tennis Association (AITA) in the Annual General Meeting held in New Delhi on Sunday. (REPORT)

Borna Coric saved six match points to stun Stefanos Tsitsipas in the third round of the US Open. (REPORT)

TABLE TENNIS

Table tennis events will return in China in November. The International Table Tennis Federation says World Cup events for men and women will be held in China after the country took over hosting duties from Germany and Thailand. (REPORT)

Despite the laurels on the table, Ultimate Table Tennis hasn’t really been able to cash in on it, both in terms of increasing viewership in India or attracting sponsors. With the pandemic hitting the sports industry hard, UTT, despite a strong financial backing by promoters of repute, seems to be struggling to stay afloat, just like its counterparts from other sport (REPORT)

HOCKEY

While lack of competition has been common across the world, Hockey India (HI) also has bigger, personnel issues. With uncertainty over analytical coach Chris Ciriello’s return, men’s team physio Dave MacDonald bid adieu on Wednesday, citing ‘personal reasons’. (REPORT)

India’s training environment is second to none and the national team can hit the top gear by the end of this year, asserted chief coach Graham Reid, who has adopted a “conservative approach” to train his players. (REPORT)

ATHLETICS

Peres Jepchirchir of Kenya set a world record in the women’s only race in the half marathon, clocking 1 hour, 5 minutes and 34 seconds. (REPORT)

Mo Farah ran 21.330 kilometers to set a new world record for the farthest distance run in an hour, while Sifan Hassan ran 18.930 to claim the women's record. (REPORT)

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