The IPL is coming and we can’t keep calm. As the live sports slowly made its way back, people went berserk and did some crazily beautiful things. We will have all the Good, the Bad and The Ugly from the week gone by to judge and make your own opinion from the world of sports.
Hit the drums, we are in for an IPL Ride
Ever since the speculations of the T20 World Cup postponement came to the fore, it was natural that the BCCI would push that slot for the Indian Premier League. And when the ICC officially announced the schedule, the formality found the final touch and every single Indian cricket fan will be in for a joyride for over one and a half months, starting September 19. Although the formal intimation is yet to arrive from the BCCI media committee, IPL Chairman Brijesh Patel has made things clear in various interviews, and as SportsCafe learnt, the schedule will be released next week post a formal discussion with the Emirates Cricket Board. With the pandemic having a solid grip around the country, the IPL - the ultimate party in Indian cricket - might be able to lift the spirit of the nation, while also ensuring no more evening lockdowns because hey, would you really go out when the IPL is on the Television?
Football links fairytale like no other
In the last 16 years, there had been humiliation, chaos, false dawns in the history of Leeds United in the English football’s second and third tiers but Thursday was different. It was different in a lot of sense, for Andrea Radrizzani, the team owner, for Victor Orta, the technical director, and surely for Argentine coach Marcelo Bielsa who finally ended the exodus to rise to the top tier of English football - the one that mattered. The historic club had once been a European Cup Winners Cup runners-up while winning three English league titles, one FA Cup, one League Cup, two Community Shields and two Inter-Cities Fairs Cups. The rich legacy that they have, mostly under magnificent stewardship of Don Revie in the 1960s and 1970s, had been left in tatters and it feels surreal that they have it back again.
BCCI cancelling Women’s team’s tour
While the country is waiting for the first ball of the IPL to be bowled with bated breathe, another news that came along was one of disappointment and frustration. As SportsCafe first reported, the BCCI decided not to send the Indian Women’s team to England for the tri-series in a bio-secure bubble, for the non-availability of the women’s selection committee. Here is a brief - the BCCI appointed a Cricket Advisory Committee and quickly replaced MSK Prasad with Sunil Joshi as the head of the men’s selection committee. It took little time but how come, in the age of Zoom calls and virtual meetings, the BCCI can’t do the same for the women’s selection meeting? The reason that a top BCCI official cited to us is that they couldn’t arrange the perfect plan to gather everyone at one place, which he feels, was a big reason behind the decision. Anything that might be, this hasn’t surely put Sourav Ganguly and co. in a good light.
Pollock, Smith remaining non-committal to Ntini’s claims
The first black African to play for the national team Makhaya Ntini has been a timeless icon for South African cricket and the perfect epitome of the diaspora that has mostly been neglected. However, in the wake of Black Lives Matter movement, he made the statement of lethality by saying he ran to and from the ground rather than taking the team bus to avoid being ignored by his teammates. It was a serious allegation in its own right and needed some backing from the captains who led him most in their career. However, when Cricbuzz reached out to Shaun Pollock and Graeme Smith, the answer was almost non-committal. "Regarding your questions, Makhaya is your person to speak to," said Pollock while Smith’s stance came from a CSA spokesperson, who said, “As director of cricket, Graeme is fully focused on his task at hand, which is transforming cricket for the future, and is preparing some exciting announcements for the coming weeks that will be clear evidence of that. He has, however, engaged directly and amicably with Mr Ntini about the contents of his interview." These statements don’t really do any good to an issue as it finally stood up for a cause.
Liverpool fans celebrating outside Anfield
Surely this was a big moment and for the fans emotionally invested in a journey of three decades, waiting to be the Champions of England, this was one ridiculously big one. But everyone needs to realise that we are in between a once-in-a-generation pandemic which has threatened all of us to the core. In such times, 3,000 people turning up at Anfield during Liverpool’s 5-3 victory over Chelsea on Wednesday was one of utter infuriating news. During the celebration, the social distancing guidelines were largely ignored, which sparked the fears that it could spike in the number of Covid-19 cases in the north-west, which is one of the hardest-hit areas in the UK. Further intensifying the situation, nine people were arrested by police for offences like affray, assault, people who were drunk and disorderly and drug-driving. This has to be treated accordingly and punishments should be dished out in a rightful manner.
Archer being racially abused
Being a Black Barbadian in the UK, there has been a considerable amount of challenge for Jofra Archer. Since he was abused in New Zealand, he had to endure so many discriminatory remarks both online and off the ground and if one would have thought the ongoing series would help overcome the racism from sport, we were proved wrong. Archer, after being sidelined for the second Test for breaching bio-secure protocols, had to endure racist remarks online, which he duly reported to the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB). When a player has made a mistake and owned it, the basics should be to support him or least to be a critic with logic. One can surely talk about his irresponsible act and the way he made ECB vulnerable to sabotage the entire domestic season, but being racist is surely not cool.