1) There will be no action at the Crucible this month, with the World Snooker Championship scheduled to take place at an unspecified date later this year. Judd Trump will have to wait to defend the title he won in 2019, beating four-time champion John Higgins. It’s 35 years since that final frame between Dennis Taylor and Steve Davis (10 since a rematch). And 30 since Stephen Hendry won the first title of seven by beating Jimmy White in 1990. He won his fifth by beating Nigel Bond in 1995. Twenty years ago, it was Mark Williams claiming his first title, beating a Welsh compatriot Matthew Stevens. Ten years ago? Neil Robertson beat Graeme Dott. Five years ago saw the veteran Stuart Bingham beat Shaun Murphy. And 40 since a most dapper Cliff Thorburn denied Alex Higgins in the final.
3) Friday marks the 48th birthday of Muttiah Muralitharan, so here’s some of the Sri Lankan’s best bits: his ODI debut in 1993, taking 10 wickets at Edgbaston in 2006 to leave England in disarray, his 800th Test wicket in 2010, a ridiculous seven for 30 against India back in 2000, and erm, showing Chris Gayle how to hit a six. Happy birthday, Murali!
4) People at home have been putting their lockdown time to excellent use, recreating and lip-syncing some classic Sky Sports News moments from down the years. Enter Chris Kamara at Portsmouth. And here’s Charlie Nicholas, attempting banter.
5) Andres D’Alessandro, one of the many “new Maradonas”, turns 39 this week (and yes, he’s still playing). Safe to say he never did turn out to be the next Diego. He did, however, score this beauty in an easily forgotten loan spell at Portsmouth. Other flashy moments from failed pretenders to the great man’s throne? Diego Latorre’s only goal for Argentina, Marcelo Gallardo’s clean-as-a-whistle volley against Real Salt Lake. Pablo Aimar with the first touch against Barcelona (and scoring the goal that got Rafa Benítez the Liverpool job). Javier Saviola puts Deportivo to the sword, Carlos Marinelli does the same to Brentford, Ariel Ortega serves up a chip against Internazionale (and against Ireland) … and Franco Di Santo with a sizzler at Freiburg. And here’s Diego Maradona Jr scoring a cracker for Venafro in 2008. And hey, any excuse to watch the real Maradona strutting his stuff in that warmup – and showing the same impudence three decades later.
6) This weekend was the one Liverpool had pencilled in for their title parade – and knowing those guys, there’s no doubt it would’ve been a helluva party. Although it’s doubtful whether even the most jubilant Scouser could outdo the Italian public welcoming home their World Cup heroes in 2006. To be fair to Liverpool fans, they did their best last year and in 2005. The bigger question, though, is whether Jürgen Klopp would have made a better master of ceremonies than Louis van Gaal did so spectacularly in Munich (with an honourable mention, of course, to MC Pepe Reina.) But remember kids, not all trophy parades go off without a hitch – just ask Sergio Ramos or Jack Wilshere, both of whom woke the next morning with bleary regret.
2) More on teammates taking out their frustration on each other: Steve McManaman v Bruce Grobbelaar during the 1993-94 season, and Gordon McQueen taking exception to Leeds teammate David Harvey in 1978.
3) Peter Alliss shows off his improv skills by narrating a narked-off caddie doing Nick Faldo’s bidding.
4) Is competitive eating a sport? You decide …
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