2020 hit sports hard. There is no other way of putting it. With social distancing becoming the need of the hour, it became impossible to play or to have crowds over.
Still, the year managed to give us some shockers. Some of them were good, some were bad, but these are things we will think about for a long time. Read on.
1. MS Dhoni's retirement.
We all knew MS Dhoni was going to retire sooner or later but August 15, 7:29 PM was not what any of us were thinking. That's Mahi for you, though. Always doing the unexpected, the unfathomable.
2. Suresh Raina's retirement on the same day (i.e. August 15).
While we were all trying to grasp the news of Dhoni hanging his boots, Suresh Raina also called it quits, drawing curtain on a long career of dependable innings that saved matches and gave hope to anxious hearts.
3. Lionel Messi reportedly asking to leave Barcelona.
While there was no official confirmation from the legend at the time, and he did not end up going through with this decision, just the reports created a stir on social media. Well, enough for his name to be trending for an entire day, across the globe.
I learned Spanish just for Messi, dreaming that one day I could go to Barcelona and watch one of his game, seeing him leave with glory and cheers, just like Xavi and Iniesta. Never thought that one day it would end like this. 20 years of glory and now he's only getting this? pic.twitter.com/Yk0hv661xu— Fionaliu (@Fionali10903265) August 26, 2020
4. Rafael Nadal equalling Roger Federer's record of 20 Grand Slams by winning the French Open.
Just the fact that one player could do it is insane; and then to think that two of them achieved it while playing in the same era, competing against each other, is a modern wonder. It's tough to tell which one of these two will retire with the record in their name, but whoever it is, the honour has been ours.
5. Liverpool winning the Premier League title after 30 long years.
Because of the pandemic, for some time it looked like Liverpool and their fans will be deprived of this pleasure. Or if they get it, it won't be the same because the title will be given to them based on their performance this season. However, thankfully the game resumed, and yes, the fans couldn't be on the ground, but at least the players were on the field. Historic.
Congratulations Liverpool, you guys are unarguably one of the best team to watch both in Europe and the EPL, World Club Champ, European champ and now EPL— FiReFLY🔥🐝 (@getKennethed22) June 25, 2020
Champ after 30 years, the wait was worth it and you guys are the worthy champions.
6. Novak Djokovic getting suspended from the US Open.
It was shocking to see the world number being ruled out of the tournament for accidentally hitting the lineswoman after he hit the ball on the ground out of frustration. Novak has been a repeat offender of showing anger like this, but this was the first time he faced suspension because of it.
Novak Djokovic (-125), the #1 seed in the tournament just got defaulted from the US Open after hitting the line judge in the neck pic.twitter.com/dvJQgLPFfA— Barstool Sportsbook (@BSSportsbook) September 6, 2020
7. Milwaukee Bucks walking out of the tournament owing to police brutality, forcing NBA to stop playoffs.
Showing solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement, the Milwaukee Bucks decided to pull out of the tournament, leading to a similar boycott by Naomi Osaka in tennis.
Full statement from the Milwaukee Bucks: pic.twitter.com/jjGEyVcCmB— Milwaukee Bucks (@Bucks) August 26, 2020
8. India getting dismissed for its lowest Test total of 36 runs.
This happened during the first Test match against Australia, when India, at quite a comfortable position, were bundled out for just 36 runs. Australia went on to win the match by 8 wickets.
9. Undertaker retiring from wresling. For good.
It was the end of an era when Undertaker played his last WWE match earlier this year. The match, called 'Final Farewell', was played exactly 30 years after his first.
10. Mike Tyson making a return to boxing, for the first time in 15 years.
Though it was an exhibition match, it was a pleasure to watch him throw punches at the opponent Roy Jones Jr.
The good and the bad of sports.