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Weekly Digest (December 26- January 2): India defeats South Africa in first Test, Messi tests COVID-19 positive


CRICKET

India defeated South Africa in the first Test in Centurion by 113 runs to go 1-0 up in the three-Test series. (REPORT)

South Africa’s wicketkeeper-batter Quinton de Kock retired from Test cricket on Thursday in a shock move announced just a few hours after he played in the defeat to India in the first Test in Centurion. (REPORT)

South Africa’s wicketkeeper-batter Quinton de Kock retired from Test cricket.   –  AP

 

“He has been a real credit to himself and the team despite the noise that has been around him”: India head coach Rahul Dravid was full of praise for Test captain Virat Kohli, calling him a “phenomenal leader” at a press conference on Sunday. (REPORT)

Scott Boland claimed bowling figures of six wickets for seven runs as Australia beat England by an innings and 14 runs in the third Ashes Test in Melbourne to retain the Ashes and take a 3-0 lead in the five-match series. (REPORT)

New Zealand batter Ross Taylor has said he will retire from international cricket after the 2021-22 season. (REPORT)

England head coach Chris Silverwood tested positive for COVID-19 on Sunday. Silverwood had already been isolating after one of his family members was found to have tested positive for COVID-19. With other members of the support staff also testing positive, only assistant coach Graham Thorpe will be with the England team as support staff for the fourth Test in Sydney. (REPORT)

Australian pace legend Glenn McGrath has tested positive for COVID-19 days before the Pink Test in Sydney which is played in memory of his late wife Jane. (REPORT)

BCCI president Sourav Ganguly was discharged from hospital on Friday after being treated for COVID-19. He had tested positive for the Delta Plus variant of the disease earlier in the week and was admitted to a hospital in Kolkata as a precautionary measure. (REPORT)

India reaffirmed its supremacy in the U-19 Asia Cup with a record eighth title as it hammered Sri Lanka by nine wickets in a rain-hit summit showdown in Dubai on Friday. (REPORT)

Rupa Gurunath, president of the Tamil Nadu Cricket Association, announced her resignation from the post on Thursday to focus on her business and personal commitments. She was the first woman to serve as the President of a State Cricket Association. (REPORT)

FOOTBALL

Lionel Messi, along with other players of Paris Saint-Germain tested COVID-19 positive, as confirmed by the Ligue 1 club. (REPORT). It adds to the list of players in several top leagues across Europe to have multiple COVID positive cases among players and managers. (REPORT)

Lionel Messi

Lionel Messi has reportedly tested positive for Covid-19.   –  GETTY IMAGES

 

Paris FC and Lyon were both thrown out of the French Cup for the hooliganism that forced their December 17 tie to be called off at half-time. (REPORT)

Hugo Maradona, younger brother of the Argentine great Diego, died a year after his brother Diego from a heart attack at the age of 52. (REPORT)

The All India Football Federation (AIFF) postponed the next round of I-League matches after several Covid positive cases were detected in multiple teams. (REPORT)

Rebecca Welch is set to become the first female referee in the FA Cup third round and will take charge of Birmingham City’s home tie against Plymouth Argyle on January 8, 2022. (REPORT)

Former Indian national team goalkeeper Kanai Sarkar passed away aged 78 after prolonged illness. He made his national team debut in September 1971, in a friendly match against the USSR, and was also a part of the Bengal team which went to Tehran to participate in the Asian Club Cup in 1970. (REPORT)

Ligue 1 club AS Monaco fired coach Niko Kovac with the club sixth in the French league at the mid-season break. (REPORT)

Ligue 1 club AS Monaco fired coach Niko Kovac with the club sixth in the French league at the mid-season break. (File Photo)

 

SC East Bengal announced the appointment of Mario Rivera as its head coach for the remainder of the 2021-22 Indian Super League season. (REPORT) The club’s forward Antonio Perosevic was hit with a five-match ban by the All India Football Federation (AIFF) disciplinary committee. (REPORT)

Indian Super League ended 2021 with defending champion Mumbai City FC on top while SC East Bengal remained at the bottom. (REPORT)

Algeria, Cameroon, Ivory Coast and Morocco, who are among the favourites for the Africa Cup of Nations, have been hit by COVID-19 just over a week before the tournament kicks off in Cameroon. (REPORT)

TENNIS 

Russian Daniil Medvedev’s 2022 season opened with a stunning defeat at the hands of Frenchman Ugo Humbert after a three-hour dogfight in a steamy Ken Rosewall Arena at the ATP Cup on Sunday. (REPORT)

The dreams of Aman Dahiya to play the Australian Open junior tennis event in Melbourne could not materialise owing to strict vaccination rules. (REPORT)

US Open champion Emma Raducanu was honoured by Queen Elizabeth II in the British monarch’s annual New Year’s list on Friday following the teenager’s breakthrough performance at Flushing Meadows. (REPORT)

Novak Djokovic pulled out of the Serbian team for the ATP Cup in Sydney, raising further doubts over whether the world number one player will defend his Australian Open title. (REPORT)

Novak Djokovic pulled out of the Serbian team for the ATP Cup in Sydney.

 

Dominic Thiem pulled out of the Australian Open owing to a long-standing wrist injury. (REPORT) 

World number five Andrey Rublev became the fifth player to test positive for COVID-19 after playing at an exhibition event in Abu Dhabi in December. (REPORT)

CHESS 

Eighth-seeded Frenchman Maxime Vachier-Lagrave came good when it mattered and stole a march over several stronger contenders before nailing local hero Jan-Krzysztof Duda 2-1 in the tie-breaker to claim the World blitz chess title in Warsaw on Thursday. (REPORT)

India’s teenage Grandmaster P. Iniyan finished third in the Lorca Open 2021 chess tournament in Lorca, Spain. (REPORT)

India’s K. Humpy finished fifth in the women’s event of the FIDE World Blitz championship while R. Vaishali slipped to 14th. (REPORT)

FILE PHOTO: Koneru Humpy tallied 11.5 points from 17 points.

 

Abdusattrov seeded 59th, shocked overnight leader Carlsen and went to stun Ian Nepomniachtchi 1.5-0.5 in the blitz tie-breaker to emerge as the champion. (REPORT)

Mitrabha Guha and D. Gukesh — among the three lowest-rated Indian male players in the fray — produced impressive results to overtake several illustrious teammates on the second day of the World rapid chess championship at Warsaw. (REPORT)

Defending champion Koneru Humpy posted three wins and a draw to jump to the joint-second spot in the women’s section of the FIDE World Rapid Chess Championship 2021 in Warsaw, Poland. (REPORT)

ATHLETICS 

 Olympic champion Neeraj Chopra will continue to train with his German coach Klaus Bartonietz, whose contract has been extended till the 2024 Paris Games, the Athletics Federation of India (AFI) confirmed on Sunday. (REPORT)

India’s fastest Under-23 sprinter Taranjeet Kaur of Delhi has failed an in-competition dope test conducted by the National Anti-Doping Agency, the source said on Saturday. (REPORT)

The 20-year-old Kaur has been one of the country’s best performing youngsters in 2021.   –  THE HINDU

 

Ethiopia’s Berihu Aregawi and Ejegayehu Taye ended 2021 on a high when they broke the men’s and women’s 5km world records at the Cursa dels Nassos in Barcelona on Friday. (REPORT)

WRESTLING 

Tokyo Olympics bronze medallist Bajrang Punia reached Moscow on Monday for a 26-day wrestling pre-season training stint, scheduled until January 21. (REPORT)

BADMINTON 

With the Asian Games and Commonwealth Games lined up next year, in a season that already looks packed with tournaments, P.V. Sindhu said that she will have to pick and choose events to play. (REPORT)

Eighth-seeded Mithun Manjunath of Railways and second-seeded Malvika Bansod of Airports Authority of India won the men’s and women’s singles titles, respectively in the BAI Series Senior National Badminton tournament on Thursday. (REPORT)

KABADDI 

Dabang Delhi with 21 points from five matches holds the top spot on the standings in Pro Kabaddi League. Bengaluru Bulls with 18 points is second. (READ)

HOCKEY 

Indian women’s team hockey team skipper Rani Rampal feels their memorable run at the Tokyo Olympics has taught the players to perform under extreme pressure. (REPORT)

Hockey India on Thursday announced a list of 60 players for the senior men’s national camp which commences from January 3, 2022, at the Sports Authority of India, Bengaluru. (REPORT)

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