Another action-packed week has gone by, with the Caribbean Premier League, the UEFA Nations League and the US Open all in full swing. While we are gifted with so much action, we cannot undermine the unfortunate events which occur at the same time, which brings us to this week’s Good, Bad and Ugly.
Sumi Nagal becomes first Indian to win a US Open match since 2013
While the trophy cabinet for doubles events in Grand Slams is more than convincing, the Indians have flattered to deceive in singles. Especially in the recent past, the country has failed to produce quality singles Tennis players, but that could change drastically. Youngster Sumit Nagal recorded his first Grand Slam, having defeated American Bradley Klahn by 6-1, 6-3, 3-6, 6-1 in the first round of the 2020 US Open. The tennis star wrapped up the game in 2 hours and 12 minutes, in what was a grand comeback to the place where he took a set from legend Roger Federer in the last edition. With the win, Nagal is assured of prize money worth Rs. 73 lakhs, also becoming the first Indian to reach the second round since 2013. This is surely the start of something special.
East Bengal rope in investors, set to play in the ISL
So, we are finally having a Kolkata Derby in the Indian Super League after all, and there’s every possibility we might have it this season only. The wait is finally over for the millions of East Bengal fans around the world, with the club getting hold of Shree Cements as their investors ahead of the new seasons and simultaneously re-kindled the hopes of making an ISL debut this season. Well, this has been the outcome of the efforts of many people working in favour of the move. Football Sports Development Limited (FSDL) head Nita Ambani, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and former cricketer Sourav Ganguly all came in help of the century-old club. The FSDL has already floated the tender for inviting new bids, and the induction of East Bengal is a formality now. The unfortunate part is that we are going to have the first Kolkata Derby of the ISL in front of an empty stadium.
Mustafizur Rahman denied a NOC to play in the Indian Premier League
Indian Premier League is the by far the biggest T20 League in the world and being a part of it is special for any cricketer. With limited slots for foreigners in the league, it was a dream come true for Mustafizur Rahman to be approached by two Indian Premier League franchises - Mumbai Indians and Kolkata Knight Riders, with both the sides having a slot vacant for a speedster. But, the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) has denied a No-Objection Certificate (NOC) for him to play in the ISL, with the dates clashing with Bangladesh’s tour of Sri Lanka. Now, why is this bad? First of all, Mustafizur might be a good limited-overs bowler, but not an automatic choice when it comes to Test cricket. On the other hand, many Bangladeshi players do not get a chance to play in the IPL, which gives so much exposure to players, which makes this a poor judgment on BCB’s behalf.
Three men’s wrestlers at the national camp test positive for Covid-19
After much hassle, the wrestlers had finally assembled at the Sports Authority of India (SAI) Centre in Sonepat, but Covid-19 had once again played spoilsport. As per the latest reports, three men’s wrestlers - Deepak Punia (86 kg), Navin (65 kg) and Krishan (125 kg), all part of the national wrestling camp and were serving quarantine, have been tested positive for the deadly virus. For the time being, they have been moved to an SAI empanelled hospital as a precautionary measure for further monitoring. Meanwhile, Vinesh Phogat, who was earlier tested positive for Covid-19 has recovered from the virus, after he was detected positive. With less than 12 months left for the Tokyo Olympics to kick-start, our athletes are losing valuable preparation time - a big reason to worry about.
Ex-Yorkshire Azeem Rafiq revealed how racism at the club left him ‘close to suicide’
It’s a shame that we have to include another incident relating to racism in our section, but we couldn't help it. English cricketer Azeem Rafiq revealed how he was treated as an outsider by his own teammates and would often cry at one end of the balcony following training sessions. He recently made allegations against the Yorkshire County Cricket Club, revealing that the unfair treatment left him ‘close to suicide.’ Meanwhile, Yorkshire league chairman Roger Pugh stated that there’s no surprise the allegations have come from the former England U-19 star, as the cricketer previously had issues with him and several umpires in the past. While racism has already reached an unprecedented level, getting to the core of this particular event must be of utmost importance to give justice to the innocent.
Lionel Messi - Barcelona saga turns more complicated as the Argentine decides to stay
The Internet came crashing down as soon as Argentina superstar Lionel Messi informed the club that he wants to leave - a club where he’s grown up and seen him become arguably the greatest footballer ever. But, why did the relationship between the player and the club turn sour? In fact, the Argentine was of the knowledge that he is free to leave after the previous season concluded, which was supposedly going to conclude by June 10, if not the pandemic. While the entire season shifted, Messi did not wish to inform about his whereabouts by June 10, at a time when the club was competing for the La Liga and the Champions League. It was following Barcelona’s exit from the Champions League that he informed the club regarding his departure, a request was revoked, with their President Josep Maria Bartomeu convinced that the only way to leave the club was by paying the €700 million clause, which was impossible. The only thing which transpired was that Barcelona FC, one of the most successful clubs in Europe, are in shambles right now and it’s not healthy for the game.