20 THINGS YOU MISSED

Inside Sport - - Contents -

1 How­ever bad your day is, just re­mind your­self that it’s still prob­a­bly be er than what Liver­pool goal­keeper Loris Kar­ius suf­fered through in the UEFA Cham­pi­ons League fi­nal ...

2 In­dia says no to a day-night Test in Ade­laide this sum­mer. So that se les it. The In­di­ans have yet to play in a pink-ball match, and while it was in­ter­preted as the BCCI flex­ing its mus­cle, some ob­servers noted it might give Vi­rat Kohli’s team a be er chance of an elu­sive se­ries win in Aus­tralia.

3 Snooker’s new world cham­pion keeps his prom­ise, a ends win­ning press con­fer­ence naked. Mark Williams, at 43, be­came the sport’s old­est world champ since 1978, and his vic­tory at the Cru­cible came 15 years aŠer his last world ti­tle. AŠer fail­ing to qual­ify for the event last year, he thought he was done, prompt­ing his naked prom­ise. “To be hon­est, if I win this next year, I’ll do this again,” Williams told the ra­dio au­di­ence. “I’ll cart­wheel round here naked.”

5 FIFA boss Gianni In­fantino pro­poses a rad­i­cal shake-up of in­ter­na­tional foot­ball, with an ex­panded Club World Cup and new nations league to re­place World Cup qual­i­fy­ing, as well as the ex­panded World Cup fi­nals. What makes this grand plan no idle day­dream is the back­ing – re­port­edly, In­fantino’s project has a mind-spin­ning $25b be­hind it, from Ja­pan’s rich­est man, Masayoshi Son of SoŠBank.

4 A new “fame tax” pro­posal in the fed­eral bud­get would hit ath­letes in their hip pocket. The change in the law would pre­vent ath­letes from li­cens­ing their name and im­age to an­other en­tity for tax pur­poses. In­stead, that in­come would be taxed at the rel­e­vant per­sonal rate, rather than the 30 per­cent cor­po­rate rate. While the pro­posal was meant to tar­get the likes of the so­cial me­dia in­flu­encers, rep­re­sen­ta­tive group Ath­letes Al­liance said it could re­ally af­fect ath­letes with low salaries but high-level mar­ketabil­ity – Olympians, or the new class of fe­male team sport ath­letes.

6 A univer­sity stu­dent in Bos­ton sets a new record by run­ning a mile in 4:43.2 – while jug­gling three balls. Zach Presco broke the record, which had stood for 32 years, although he needed a sec­ond a empt – a li le over a kilo­me­tre in the first time around, he dropped a ball.

7 For those of us who can never for­get that morn­ing in Trent Bridge in 2015 when Stu­art Broad rolled the Aussies in 111 balls, we know the English quick has a knack for pu ing it to­gether at the right time. Fur­ther ev­i­dence: in the sec­ond-last week of the Pre­mier League sea­son, Broad’s fan­tasy foot­ball side hauled in 180 points, which was the top score of the near six mil­lion play­ers in the EPL’s fan­tasy comp.

8 HaŠhor Bjorns­son, or “The Moun­tain” of Game Of Thrones fame, wins the World’s Strong­est Man com­pe­ti­tion in the Philip­pines. He had fin­ished in the top three of the event ev­ery year since 2012 un­til this first-time break­through. And thank­fully, sin­gle com­bat was not one of the cat­e­gories.

9 Cur­tis Sco be­comes the first one-punch send-off in the NRL since 2015. The Mel­bourne Strom tyro later re­ceived two weeks for deck­ing Manly’s Dy­lan Walker, break­ing his eye socket. The rules might have changed in rugby league, but the a itude about fisticuffs re­main – vet­eran Luke Lewis noted that Walker had de­served it.

10 Our long na­tional night­mare is over – the los­ing streak against Su­per Rugby’s NZ sides fi­nally came to an end! Now, if rugby can only fig­ure out how to stop the co­caine abuse and Israel Fo­lau’s so­cial com­men­tary, the sport might do av­er­age.

11 The do­mes­tic base­ball league, the ABL, will add a sev­enth ex­pan­sion team – from Korea. The all-Korean side, who will play in the com­pe­ti­tion dur­ing their win­ter, is likely to be based in Gee­long.

12 One of the great in­trigues at the NBA’s get-to­gether for po­ten­tial rook­ies, the Draft Com­bine, is when the prospects get mea­sured. A par­tic­u­lar ob­ject of fas­ci­na­tion is wing­span – NBA play­ers are true out­liers in this mea­sure­ment, well-ex­ceed­ing the usual one-to-one re­la­tion­ship be­tween arm length to height. This year, Amer­i­can teen Mo­hamed Bamba, just shy of 213cm tall, set a new record with a reach of 238cm, fin­ger­tip to fin­ger­tip.

13 Cameron Smith re­tires from rep­re­sen­ta­tive foot­ball, says he wants to spend more time with his fam­ily (re­ally). But if Craig Bel­lamy ac­tu­ally leaves the Mel­bourne Storm, we all know who the next coach should be, right?

14 AFL forms a com­mit­tee – an­other one – to ex­am­ine the “look of the game”. Mal­colm Blight is one of the greats serv­ing on it, and pre­views one of the is­sues sure to be tabled: “You know that 36 play­ers in a quar­ter of the ground is my pet hate.”

15 Dock­lands, er, Colo­nial, ah Eti­had to be re­named ... Mar­vel Sta­dium. Yep, af­ter the Dis­ney prop­erty that makes all the money at the cin­ema. Mel­bourne’s other sta­dium will re­port­edly have a Mar­vel-themed store there, which will mix well with the sport­ing crowd. Im­me­di­ate rule: any AFL com­men­ta­tor who in­vokes a com­par­i­son be­tween any player and Iron Man/Cap­tain Amer­ica/ Thor will be sum­mar­ily ex­e­cuted (but com­par­isons to the Hulk are okay).

16 Ser­ena Williams with­drew from Ital­ian Open, cit­ing she wasn’t “100 per­cent ready” to re­turn to com­pet­ing. The ten­nis cham­pion then went search­ing for the last bits of ex­tra per­cent­age at the Royal wed­ding of Harry and Meghan, which Williams was sud­denly free to at­tend.

17 AB de Vil­liers re­tires from in­ter­na­tional cricket. Bowlers all over the world breathe a sigh of re­lief. The only shame was miss­ing out on see­ing the South African mae­stro on Aus­tralian soil one last time – as he missed their Test tour two sea­sons ago – and the Proteas on their way to an ODI se­ries later this year.

18 Just as the ball-tam­per­ing out­rage was dy­ing down, cricket of­fi­cial­dom have a spot-fix­ing scan­dal to deal with. In an un­der­cover re­port from Al Jazeera, an In­dian na­tional work­ing for a crim­i­nal syn­di­cate claimed that a pair of Aus­tralian bats­men were paid to ma­nip­u­late the scor­ing rate in a Test against In­dia in Ranchi. Cricket Aus­tralia de­nied that there was any cred­i­ble ev­i­dence.

19 Mean­while, Shane Wat­son hits a ton to power the Chen­nai Su­per Kings to the IPL ti­tle. Why doesn’t any­one call for Watto to be brought back to the Aus­tralian side?

20 One of the last his­toric sport­ing prizes elud­ing the na­tion has been claimed – Will Power be­comes the first Aussie to win the Indy 500. Power had been a favourite at the Brick­yard in years past, but luck­less. Even af­ter the break­through, the 37-year-old still had a bit of for­tune go against him – it hap­pened to co­in­cide with Daniel Ric­cia­rdo win­ning the Monaco GP and steal­ing some lime­light.

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