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Weekly Digest (Nov. 29-Dec.5): From Ajaz’s Perfect 10 to Messi’s Record 7


From Ajaz Patel’s unique 10-wicket feat against India to Lionel Messi’s record Ballon d’Or win, here are the top sporting headlines from the week gone by.

CRICKET

India’s tour of South Africa will go ahead, despite the threat of new COVID-19 mutant Omicron. However, keeping the current situation in mind, the BCCI and CSA have mutually agreed to play three Tests and as many ODIs. The T20I series will be held at a later date. (REPORT)

Ajaz Patel became the third cricketer to scalp all 10 wickets in an innings as New Zealand bundled out India for 325 on the second day of the second Test at the Wankhede Stadium. (REPORT)

Rachin Ravindra and Ajaz Patel defended resolutely for 40 minutes in fading light as New Zealand pulled off a remarkable escape in the first Test, securing its first draw in India since 2010. (REPORT)

BCCI officials and support staff can now retire at age 65, after the Board increased the age cap on Saturday. (REPORT)

England’s Eileen Ash, the world’s oldest Test player described as a ‘pioneer’ of the sport, died aged 110. (REPORT)

Former New Zealand all-rounder Chris Cairns does not know if he will ever walk again but says he is lucky to be alive after a series of life-threatening surgeries left him paralysed waist down. (REPORT)

West Indies bowling great Michael Holding’s book “Why We Kneel, How We Rise” won the William Hill Sports Book of the Year award on Thursday. (REPORT)

Assistant coach Andy Flower has parted ways with Punjab Kings and is expected to land a role in one of the new teams ahead of IPL 2022. (REPORT)

IPL player retention: Six of the eight existing Indian Premier League franchises retained the tried and tested players for the forthcoming season. However, Sunrisers Hyderabad and Punjab Kings, did spring a surprise by retaining uncapped Indian players. With K. L. Rahul moving on, Punjab retained Mayank Agarwal and the uncapped Arshdeep Singh. Hyderabad retained Jammu and Kashmir young guns Abdul Samad and Umran Malik, along with its captain Kane Williamson. (REPORT) 

Former England skipper Ray Illingworth, who famously captained the team to an Ashes triumph in Australia in 1970–71, has said he is undergoing treatment for esophageal cancer. He says he is hopeful of a full recovery. (REPORT)

Australian spin legend Shane Warne has been left “battered and bruised” after suffering a motorbike accident. The 52-year-old met with an accident on Sunday while riding his bike with son Jackson. (REPORT)

FOOTBALL

Mumbai City FC finished the week on top of the Indian Super League (ISL) table after big wins over ATK Mohun Bagan (5-1) (REPORT) and Bengaluru FC (3-1) (REPORT).

Vinicius Junior and Luka Jovic stepped up to secure Real Madrid a 2-0 win at Real Sociedad and strengthen its hold of the La Liga. (REPORT)

Lionel Messi beat Robert Lewandowski to the prestigious men’s Ballon d’Or award, taking his overall tally to a record seven. Spain and Barcelona midfielder Alexia Puttelas took home the women’s Ballon d’Or. (REPORT).

Lionel Messi with his seventh Ballon d’Or award.   –  REUTERS

 

AC Milan suffered a major blow after medical tests revealed that its Denmark centre back Simon Kjaer is expected to be out for six months following a knee operation. (REPORT)

Robert Lewandowski scored twice against his former team for Bayern Munich to extend its Bundesliga lead with a contentious 3-2 win at Borussia Dortmund in “der Klassiker”. But Dortmund fans’ anger was directed at the referee, who awarded Bayern a penalty and denied their team another. (REPORT)

Aggression by England fans at the European Championship final exposed an “embarrassing” part of the national culture that endangered lives and should lead to fans being barred from stadiums if they are chanting abuse and under the influence of drugs or alcohol, an investigation into the disorder has concluded. (REPORT)

German politicians agreed on Thursday to slash the maximum attendance at outdoor sports events to 15,000 people, though some states still plan to have empty stadiums. (REPORT)

Sydney will host the 2023 Women’s World Cup final at Stadium Australia on August 20, while co-host New Zealand will kick off the tournament at Auckland’s Eden Park on July 20. (REPORT)

FIFA will test its semi-automated offside technology at the Arab Cup 2021 which begins in Qatar on Tuesday, with Chief Refereeing Officer Pierluigi Collina saying the competition represented its most important trial so far. (REPORT)

Manchester United has named German Ralf Rangnick as interim manager until the end of the season, the Premier League club announced on Monday, eight days after sacking Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. (REPORT)

BOXING

Gennady Golovkin’s world title fight against Ryota Murata in Japan has been postponed due to the global spread of the Omicron coronavirus variant. (REPORT)

CHESS

After the gruelling, marathon sixth game, Magnus Carlsen and Ian Nepomniachtchi played out a rather quick 41-move draw, in just over two and a half hours, in the seventh game of the World chess championship match in Dubai on Saturday. (REPORT)

In an epic lasting 136 moves, spread over 7 hours and 45 minutes, Carlsen managed to break Nepo’s resistance and gained a 3.5-2.5 lead after six games in the longest game in World chess championship, in Dubai in the early hours of Saturday. (REPORT)

Ian Nepomniachtichi had every reason to be disappointed after missing a chance to make Magnus Carlsen suffer more than he did in the drawn fifth game of the World chess championship in Dubai on Wednesday. (REPORT)

Magnus Carlsen chose to play it safe against a well-prepared Ian Nepomniachtchi and forced a 33-move draw following perpetual checks in Game Four of their World chess championship title-clash in Dubai on Tuesday. (REPORT)

SHOOTING

Olympian Manu Bhaker asserted her class by winning the women’s air pistol gold in the 64th National shooting championship at the Dr. Karni Singh Range, Tughlakabad (READ)

Bihar’s shotgun shooter Shreyashi Singh won her second women’s trap title at the National Championship. (READ)

Kiran Jadhav was at his competitive best in the climax as he shot 10.9, 10.9, 10.8 and 10.7 to clinch the gold with a 0.4 point margin over his Navy teammate Niraj Kumar in the 50-metre rifle 3-position event in the 64th National Shooting Championship in Bhopal. (READ)

Darshna Rathore shot 50 to beat Ganemat Sekhon by four points in the women’s skeet final of the 64th National Shooting Championship at the New Moti Bagh Gun Club. (READ)

Rajshree Sancheti of Delhi won the women’s air rifle gold as she beat Zeena Khitta of Himachal Pradesh by 1.7 points in the 64th National shooting championship in Bhopal. (READ)

MOTORSPORTS

Indian racer Jehan Daruvala feels 2022 could be the make or break year for his childhood dream of becoming a Formula 1 driver. (READ)

McLaren’s Lando Norris has announced he is moving from England to Monaco, with financial reasons playing a part in his decision. (READ)

Formula One stewards reprimanded Lewis Hamilton and fined his Mercedes team after summoning the seven-time world champion on two counts ahead of Saudi Arabian Grand Prix qualifying on Saturday. (READ)

Lewis Hamilton cast doubt on Saturday on whether branding for a company linked to the 2017 Grenfell Tower fire would stay on his Mercedes race car amid a backlash in Britain and calls for his team to terminate the deal. (READ)

TABLE TENNIS (Updated Dec 5)

The Indian u-15 girls’ team went down 2-3 to Russia in the semifinals and settled for bronze in the ITTF World youth table tennis championships here on Friday, despite Suhana Saini’s valiant efforts in winning both her matches. (REPORT)

The Indian u-15 girls’ team made history by entering the medal round in the ITTF world youth table tennis championships here, with a 3-1 win over host Portugal in the quarterfinals on Thursday. (REPORT)

Chinese officials’ formal complaint of racist abuse toward one of their players at the table tennis world championships in Texas was taken “very, very seriously,” the sport’s governing body said. (REPORT)

TENNIS

Novak Djokovic is still uncertain whether he will take part in the 2022 Australian Open, but will soon make a decision, the world number one said after Serbia’s defeat Croatia in the Davis Cup semifinals on Friday. (READ)

Poland’s Iga Swiatek has split with her coach Piotr Sierzputowski after working with him for more than five years, the 2020 French Open champion said on Saturday. (READ)

WTA founder Billie Jean King said the organisation was on “the right side of history” after it suspended tournaments in China due to concerns over the treatment of Peng Shuai. (READ)

Former British No 1 Johanna Konta has announced her immediate retirement from professional tennis. (READ)

Ajeet Bhardwaj started competing in the international tennis circuit when he was 55 and is thrilled to own the milestone of a maximum number of wins by an Indian tennis player in the senior circuit. (READ)

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