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The Good, Bad and Ugly ft UEFA allowing crowd, Chopra-Neesham's Twitter brawl and T20 blast tragicomedy

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It was a mixed week in the world of sports

The Good, Bad and Ugly ft UEFA allowing crowd, Chopra-Neesham's Twitter brawl and T20 blast tragicomedy

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Harshit Anand

10/04/2020

It turned out to be an exciting and eventful week as we present to you the latest edition of the Good, Bad and Ugly with some pretty interesting stuff lined up. From Neesham questioning Chopra's cricket stats to UEFA allowing crowds back to a cricket game decided by powerplay, let's start rolling.

The Good

UEFA To Allow Crowds Up To 30 Per Cent Capacity For European, International Games

After Super Cup safely hosted around 15,500 spectators in Budapest, last week, which saw Bayern Munich clashing and beating Sevilla, now European football's governing body has announced that spectators will be back to the ground, albeit, "at a maximum of 30 percent" of capacity for the Champions League and its other club and international competitions. Notably, all the fixtures in the Champions League, Europa League and Nations League were being played behind closed doors due to the novel Coronavirus. However, 'until further notice' away supporters won't be allowed to witness the games from stadium. National authorities are yet to decide on allowing the spectators so whether fans will be back or not will be subject to that. Right now, as many as 27 nations are allowing fans entry in the grounds as per UEFA. Next week as a series of international friendly matches commence, finally the fans will be back to cheer for their favorite players if everything goes as planned.  

Kane Williamson's quintessential gentlemanly trait 

Generally, big star players have even bigger egos and they don't take things like being run-out by a youngster in a league like IPL sportingly. And even the ice-cool Kane Williamson looked as if he lost his cool after he ran mid-way to the pitch only to be sent back by India's U19 skipper Priyam Garg, and get dismissed. Williamson also gave him a frustrated look. However, the Kiwi skipper made up for it when Garg returned back to the dressing room after making a brilliant fifty as he told him in an utterly gentlemanly manner, "Well played mate. Don't worry, forget about the run-out' after the youngster was feeling dejected and guilty of running out Kane. No wonder the Kane Williamson-led New Zealand won MCC's Spirit of Cricket Award for their conduct in the ICC Cricket World Cup Final vs England.

Bad

Serena Williams out of French Open

In what came as a bad news for tennis fans, the 23-time Grand Slam singles champion, Serena Williams pulled out of the French Open due to Achilles injury, as she was even finding it difficult to walk forget playing before her second-round match on Wednesday, where she was scheduled to play Tsvetana Pironkova. The superstar tennis player stated that it's "more than likely" that she won't feature in any other tournaments this year given her injury, which is looking really bad at the moment. The 39-year-old injured her Achilles in the U.S. Open semifinal when she faced defeat at the hands of Victoria Azarenka, three weeks back. Williams had overcome countrywoman Kristie Ahn 7-6 (2), 6-0 in the first round of the Roland Garros. But right from the second set, she was limping. 

Sadio Mane tests Covid positive, so do Napoli members 

On Friday, Liverpool announced that their forward Sadio Mane had to self-isolate himself after he tested positive for Covid-19. He isn't the first player from the club to test positive as earlier this week new signing Thiago Alcantara was also found Covid positive. After scoring in Liverpool's 3-1 victory over Arsenal on Monday, Mane didn't turn up for League Cup fixture against Gunners, three days later, where his club lost on penalties. The novel Coronavirus also made its presence felt in Serie A as league leaders Napoli's Poitr Zielinski was found positive, that too just two days ahead of the encounter against Juventus. The Poland midfielder had made his presence felt last Sunday against Genoa as he had scored. 

Ugly

T20 Blast knock-out game decided by Powerplay score 

If you found the boundary countback rule to be ridiculous for deciding winners of the 2019 Cricket World Cup final, T20 Blast went a step ahead and even without a Super Over, the result of the tie game between Leicestershire and Nottinghamshire in what was the 1st quarterfinal in the T20 blast was decided on the basis of Powerplay score, when the wickets lost after the respective scores of both the teams at the conclusion of the game also ended on the same note, much to the surprise and anguish of the fans. We are in 2020 but the cricket administrators have really not taken to making fair rules too seriously. All they seem to wait is for outrage after games like these end in a dramatic fashion after which the thinking starts, when it should ideally be the other way around. As a result of better Powerplay score, Nottinghamshire sealed their place in a Vitality T20 Blast semi-final against Lancashire.

Jimmy Neesham's personal attack on Aakash Chopra 

Former Indian Test opener Aakash Chopra might have failed to live up the billing as an international cricketer but he has earned a special place in Indian cricket with his insightful and technical analysis on the game. However, in what has become the new normal, James Neesham attacked Aakash Chopra's cricketing career after the Indian had questioned Jimmy Neesham's lack of "match-winner" credentials post KXIP's big defeat against Mumbai Indians. The KXIP all-rounder, who has been an abject failure till now in the IPL 2020, trolled Chopra by tweeting, "Averaging 18.5 striking at 90 doesn’t win many matches either.” Chopra also didn't hold back as he responded back by saying, “Correct my friend. That’s why nobody picks me anymore. I get paid for doing something else. I’m glad that you don’t have an issue with my observations but with my cricket stats. Go well for the rest of the #IPL.” In what was clearly a case of logic fallacy on Neesham's part, he isn't having a good time on Twitter as well, like on the field, and was lambasted for his 'salty' response.

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