Weekly Digest: The aftermath of Sandpapergate

Australian cricket in the wake of the ball-tampering incident continued to dominate headlines in the week gone by.

Steve Smith fronts the media at Sydney International Airport upon return from South Africa.   -  Getty Images

Cricket

Steve Smith and David Warner have been banned from all international and Australian domestic cricket for 12 months by Cricket Australia (CA) following their roles in the ball-tampering scandal that has overshadowed their country's Test series with South Africa, while Cameron Bancroft has received a nine-month suspension.

Steve Smith apologised for his role in ball-tampering upon returning to Australia. In an emotional press conference, he said he had made a ‘big mistake’ and that he would try his best to ‘make up for my mistake’.

Smith’s team-mate and fellow participant in ball-tampering, David Warner, also spoke in a press conference in Sydney. A tearful Warner apologised for his mistake and refused to rule out retirement after the ball-tampering scandal.

In a press conference in Perth, an apologetic Cameron Bancroft has admitted to lying about what he used to try to alter the condition of the ball in the third Test between Australia and South Africa, stating he "panicked" in the situation.

Australia cricket coach Darren Lehmann says he will quit after the final Test against South Africa, citing the emotional stress of the ball-tampering scandal in South Africa.

Former Test captain Steve Waugh said the country's embattled cricket team had “failed our culture” after opting to cheat, as England coach Trevor Bayliss admitted he was embarrassed to be Australian.

Former captain Mark Taylor said that Cricket Australia was considering a ban on sledging, or verbal taunting, after the ball-tampering scandal and fractious current Test series with South Africa.

The first ball had not even been bowled at the Wanderers before new captain Tim Paine signalled a new era for Australian cricket. At his suggestion, the Australian and South African teams lined up and shook hands with each other before starting play in the fourth and final Test of what has been a fractious and controversial series.

South African fast bowler Dale Steyn revealed that he is targeting a stint with English county Hampshire in June as his comeback to competitive cricket.

The Board of Control for Cricket in India appointed former Rajasthan Director General of Police Ajit Singh as the head of the Anti-Corruption Unit on Saturday. Having served the Indian Police Service for close to four decades — a 1982-Rajasthan cadre IPS officer retired as DGP in 2017 — Singh is an expert at handling anti-corruption operations, investigative work and field policing. He had headed the anti-corruption bureau for Rajasthan in the past.

Meg Lanning led Australia to a thumping 57-run win against arch-rival England in the final of the T20 Tri-series at the Brabourne Stadium, Cricket Club of India on Saturday.

Letting Virat Kohli play county cricket is “nonsense”, feels former England captain Bob Willis, who wants the prolific Indian captain to “suffer” from the wretched form he endured in 2014, when his team comes here for a Test series later this year. Kohli is expected to play for Surrey in the Division One of English county in his bid to prepare for the five-Test series in England, which has been his focus for sometime now.

A Zimbabwean official has been suspended from all cricket activity for 20 years after trying to bribe Graeme Cremer, the ICC has announced.

Football

Kerala edged past Bengal via a penalty shootout to claim its sixth Santosh Trophy title at the Salt Lake Stadium on Sunday.

Bayern Munich's incredible first-half display made light work of Borussia Dortmund as the runaway Bundesliga leader cruised to a remarkable 6-0 win in Der Klassiker thanks to a hat-trick from Robert Lewandowski against his former club.

A Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang brace and an Alexandre Lacazette penalty all in the final 15 minutes saw Arsenal ultimately cruise to a 3-0 home win over struggling Stoke City on Sunday.

I-League side Aizawl FC staged a spirited performance to defeat Indian Super League champion Chennaiyin FC 2-2 (5-3 pens) and progress to the next round of the Super Cup.

Manchester City warmed up for a season-defining month with a commanding 3-1 win over Everton at Goodison Park to set up a potential Premier League title party against rivals United.

Paris Saint-Germain won the Coupe de la Ligue for the fifth season in a row with a 3-0 victory over Monaco in Saturday's final in Bordeaux.

Romelu Lukaku's 100th Premier League goal helped Manchester United to a 2-0 win over Swansea City on Saturday.

Karim Benzema scored on his 400th Real Madrid appearance and Gareth Bale celebrated a brace as Madrid beat Las Palmas 3-0.

Christian Eriksen's stunning strike and a Dele Alli double delivered Tottenham its first win at Stamford Bridge since 1990 as it dealt Chelsea's Champions League hopes a hammer blow with a 3-1 win.

Juan Cuadrado and Sami Khedira struck late as Juventus surged four points clear atop Serie A in a 3-1 victory over AC Milan at Allianz Stadium on Saturday.

Tennis

Sloane Stephens held her nerve in an error-strewn WTA Miami Open final to beat Jelena Ostapenko 7-6 (7/5), 6-1 and lift the prestigious title for the first time here on Saturday. Florida native Stephens, who has now won all six finals she has competed in, had been determined to win the last tournament at Key Biscayne before it moves next year.

Conchita Martinez has stepped aside from coaching Garbine Muguruza following the Wimbledon champion's Miami Open exit.

Motorsport

After having both his legs amputated due to a high-speed crash in a British Formula Four championship last year, teenager Billy Monger brought joy to the world of motorsports by entering the BRDC F3 (British Racing Drivers Club) championship and finishing on podium (third) driving for Carlin in the first race of the season in Oulton Park.

Arjun Maini will continue as a Haas F1 Team development driver in 2018 while simultaneously competing in his first full season in the FIA Formula 2 Championship with Team Trident.

Golf

Indian golfer Shubhankar Sharma missed a lot of putts on the second day to miss the cut at the Houston Open but took a lot of positives as he got into 'Masters' mode a week ahead of the year’s first Major.

Gymnastics

Ace gymnast Dipa Karmakar is on the path of attaining full fitness and hopes to give her best in the Jakarta-Palembang Asian Games in August.

Basketball

LeBron James continued his assault on the NBA record book, passing Michael Jordan for consecutive games with at least 10 points in the Cleveland Cavaliers 107-102 win over the New Orleans Pelicans on Friday.

More Sports

Wrestlers top the list of 12 athletes who have tested positive for banned substances during the Khelo India School Games, which was held at five venues in Delhi from January 31 to February 8.

Badminton

Olympic and World Championship silver medallist P. V. Sindhu suffered an injury scare on Tuesday, however there were no immediate threats to her participation in the Commonwealth Games starting next month.

Table Tennis

Two days after being axed from India's squad for the Commnwealth Games, paddler Soumyajit Ghosh has been excluded from the second season of Ultimate Table Tennis (UTT), the franchise-based league to be played in June. Ghosh is facing rape allegations from his former girlfriend.

A. Sharath Kamal, the veteran paddler, will wear the Yoddhas’ jersey during the second edition of the Ultimate Table Tennis. Sharath's move from RP-SG Mavericks to the Yoddhas was confirmed as he became the first Indian to be acquired during the player draft on Wednesday.

Boxing

Anthony Joshua added Joseph Parker's WBO heavyweight crown to his WBA and IBF titles after being forced to go the 12-round distance for the first time by the previously unbeaten New Zealander in a Cardiff encounter than never truly caught fire.