It's that time of the week once again - Sunday, and we are back with all our doses of Good, Bad, and Ugly. Even though sporting activities are mostly stalled around the world, we've still got enough on our list to fill your appetite, so sit back and enjoy on your couch and enjoy the read.
Indian hockey camps to re-start on August 21
The players had all assembled at the Sports Authority of India (SAI) center in Bengaluru and the ball was set to roll, but yet again the rising cases of COVID-19 cases pushed back the hockey training camp. To make it worse, six players of the men’s hockey team, including the skipper Mandeep Singh, were tested positive for the virus and admitted to a multispeciality hospital in the Southern city. But, the authorities, along with the coaches, have unanimously decided that the camps will restart on August 21, as scheduled earlier, while the players struck by Covid-19 will join the team later. With uncertainty looming over the head for the past two weeks, this is great news for Indian sports, with the Tokyo Olympics less than 12 months away.
Swimmers to camp outside India
The aquatics section has never sprung in the limelight as far as Indian sports are concerned, but with the recent success we have, the case should have been otherwise - at least in the past few years. With the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports easing restrictions for sports facilities in India, swimming pools were not fortunate enough though, as they remained closed. With the Indian swimmers not entering a pool for months and the Olympics less than a year away, the contingent has been in a spot of bother ever since. After repeated requests from the Swimming Federation of India (SFI), the authorities have finally made arrangements for the elite athletes to resume training in the United Arab Emirates next month. Three elite swimmers - Virdhawal Khade, Srihari Nataraj, and Kushagra Rawat along with a coach will head to the middle-east in September to train at Dubai's Aqua Nation Swimming Nation.
MS Dhoni and Suresh Raina bids adieu
After keeping Indian cricket fans anxious for over a year, Mahendra Singh Dhoni - India’s most successful captain and one of the finest the country has ever produced, hung up his boots at the age of 39. The journey which started in Ranchi back in the early 2000s and scripted a glorious chapter in the history of Indian cricket, turned its last page on Saturday evening, incidentally India’s 74th Independence Day. Having won every major ICC trophy, Dhoni's feat is parallel to none of its predecessors, which makes his exit even more painful. Thanks for the memories, Mahi! To make the weekend more painful, Indian cricketer Suresh Raina also announced his retirement a few moments later.
Ultimate Table Tennis postponed for an indefinite period
The Ultimate Table Tennis - a professional Table Tennis tour hosted by India since 2017 has been postponed for an indefinite period owing to the pandemic situation. As per the schedule, the fourth edition of the meet was supposed to be staged from August 14 to August 31, but with sporting activities not in full swing and the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) not sure regarding the resumption of professional tours, the announcement was anticipated. The event has been a hit from its inception, with top-flight players around the globe flocking to India and brushing shoulders with domestic players. This is a big blow for Olympic aspirants, especially when there is no action around.
Fawad Alam scores duck on a comeback after 11 years
If you’ve been following International for the past decade or so, you would recall a certain Fawad Alam, who made his debut for Pakistan back in 2009 and played two more Tests in that same year, has been absent from the International arena ever since. It was after an 11-year hiatus that the southpaw broke into the Test team once again against England at Southampton this week. While the long wait was finally over and the hard work was all set to pay-off, the script was not in his favour with the batsman failing to add a single run to the score, struck in front of the wickets off Chris Woakes, surviving just four balls in the middle of the strip. Cricket fans took to social media, with mixed responses regarding the incident, but a whole, it was heartbreaking for the cricketer.
Spanish clubs struck with COVID-19 scare
What’s more disappointing than an 8-2 loss to Bayern Munich in the quarter-final of the Champions League? Seeing one of the club's best defender, Samuel Umtiti struck with COVID-19 when the back four of the club had already faced eight goals the previous day. Barcelona, a club which has by far been one of the most successful clubs in this century is going through dire straits, hopefully, the phase will pass soon. La Liga rivals Atletico Madrid, found themselves on the same boat, with four players of their women’s side contracting with the deadly virus just 10 days before its Champions League quarter-final match against Barcelona.