Weekly sports round-up, July 10 to 16: From Ravi Shastri's appointment as India coach to Roger Federer's record Wimbledon title
An eventful sporting week culminated with Roger Federer winning a record 19th Grand Slam title at Wimbledon, even as uncertainty continued to rule Indian cricket on who else will join the coaching staff to support Ravi Shastri, the new head coach.
New Delhi: An eventful sporting week culminated with Roger Federer winning a record 19th Grand Slam title at Wimbledon, even as uncertainty continued to rule Indian cricket on who else will join the coaching staff to support Ravi Shastri, the new head coach.
Here are our weekly sports round-up for 10 to 16 July:
Cricket: The drama over who will replace Anil Kumble as the head coach of Indian cricket team finally got over with the three-member Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC) comprising Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly and VVS Laxman, settling with former Team Director Ravi Shastri. He beat the like of established coaches like Tom Moody, Richard Pybus and Lalchand Rajput, and also crowd favourite Virender Sehwag.
The appointment was only confirmed later in the week by the all-powerful, the Supreme Court-appointed Committee of Administrators (CoA); but what came as a shock to fans was the confusion surrounding the hiring of legends Rahul Dravid and Zaheer Khan for their specific skill sets, to help Indian team in overseas tours.
The CoA denied to confirm their appointments, even as the CAC members claimed that their two former team-mates were not hoisted to Shastri. It's now not clear what their respective roles will be in the Indian set up. As they say, the drama continues. Hopefully, it all will be resolved before the team departs for the Sri Lanka tour.
Then, there are Test series in England and Sri Lanka. England won the first match against South Africa at Lord's, but the second match is going to the wires at Trent Bridge. The Proteas have taken a lead of more than 450 runs at the end of Day 3. The fifth and final day is on 18 July. The match witnessed James Anderson once again proving his worth with a five-wicket haul in the South Africa's first innings.
At Colombo, Zimbabwe continued to impress by showing grit against a much higher-ranked team in one-off Test match. Starting on the same day as that of second England-South Africa Test at Trent Bridge, the Sri Lanka-Zimbabwe match was turning out to a be classic too. The match will, however, be remember for Graig Evans' hundred and that magical run-out of Dilruwan Perera, affected by three Zimbabwean fielders.
But probably the most heartening development for Indian fans would be the women team's brilliant show at the ICC World Cup. Mithali Raj, the 'Wonder Woman' of Indian cricket, continued her astonishing run; and other stars were also made — like Smriti Mandhana, Veda Krishnamurthy, Rajeshwari Gayakwad, Deepti Sharma, Punam Raut, etc.
India will play the tournament favourites Australia in the semi-final.
Back home, former champions Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals returned to the Indian Premier League (IPL) fold after serving their respective two-year ban for the infamous 2013 spot-fixing scandal.
However, the most shocking cricket development would be that of former Sri Lanka captain Arjuna Ranatunga's claimed that the final match of the 2011 ICC World Cup between India and Sri Lanka was fixed.
Tennis: Greatest of them all! That's one phrase which was doing the rounds as Wimbledon entered the last week. Then on Sunday, the GOAT cried, sobbing inconsolably. Roger Federer beat Marin Cilic in straight sets to win his eighth Wimbledon and 19th Grand Slam title.
In the Ladies' section, Garbine Muguruza became the first player to beat both the Williams sisters in Grand Slam finals, and lifted the Wimbledon trophy in her second final appearance. Last year, at the French Open, the Venezuelan-born defeated Serena to win her maiden Major. But in the previous year, she lost the Wimbledon final to the younger Williams sister.
Venus, who showed exemplary grit in reaching the final at the age of 37, was, however, everyone's favourite in this edition. Her's was a story to be told for an eternity.
But for Indian tennis, title count went dry, for the second year in a row. Martina Hingis had played the saviour's role in 2015, when she teamed up with Sania Mirza and Leander Paes to win Ladies Doubles and Mixed Double titles.
Football: Transfer window is still open in Europe, but there were no major movements. In India, Indian Super League giants Atletico de Kolkata roped in former Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur legend Teddy Sheringham as the new coach for the upcoming season.
In futsal, Brazil legend Ronaldinho declared that the Virat Kohli-backed Premier Futsal will be bigger this year, even as former India captain Bhaichung Bhutia jumped on the futsal bandwagon by becoming the Talent Director of the tournament. It sure came as an embarrassment to the All India Football Federation, which has opposed the league since day one.
Athletics: After a dream medal haul at the recently concluded Asian Athletics Championships in Bhubaneswar, Indian athletes gathered at Guntur for the 57th National Inter-State Athletics Championships. India topped the medal tally at the Asian meet with an unprecedented haul of 29 medals (12 gold, five silver and 12 bronze).
The good news from track and field continued to pour in for India as javelin thrower Sundar Singh Gurjar won country's first ever gold medal at the IPC Para Athletics Championships. Many have hailed the London victory as a part of redemption for Sundar, who faced the ignominy of being disqualified in Rio 2016 due to technical reasons. Devendra Jhajharia, who had won the gold medal at Rio, opted out of the meet.
Continuing with para-sport, Kanchanmala Pande fought all odds to win silver medal at Para Swimming Championships Berlin. Pande, who is completely blind, was forced to borrow money from fellow swimmers after the money sanctioned for her did not reach her.
In racing, Lewis Hamilton equalled Jim Clarke's record of winning fifth consecutive British Grand Prix races. The Mercedes driver thus reduced Sebastian Vettel's championship lead to one point. The Ferrari driver finished seventh at Silverstone.
In France, defending champion Chris Froome retained yellow jersey even as Bauke Mollema won stage 15.
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Match of the week:
Skipper Mithali Raj slammed a century before left-arm spinner Rajeshwari Gayakwad returned with a five-wicket haul as India crushed New Zealand by 186 runs to storm into the semifinals of the ICC Women's World Cup at Derby.