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2013: Bat, ball and more...

1. India win all 3 ICC World titles
London, 24 June

India clinched ICC Champions Trophy, in its last edition, with a nerve-wracking five-run victory over hosts England in a rain-hit final, giving captain MS Dhoni the unique record of being the first captain to win all three world titles. Uunder Dhoni, India won ODI World Cup, ICC World T20 and ICC Champions Trophy. Ravindra Jadeja (33 n.o. and 2-24) made brilliant all-round contribution which proved to be telling in the context of the match. After frustrating showers reduced the contest to a T20 affair, India first scored 129 for seven and then restricted England to 124 for eight in a topsy-turvy game that went down to the wire. The sizeable Indian crowd erupted in joy when Ravichandran Ashwin (2-15) finished the final over with James Tredwell unable to hit the required six off the last delivery.


2. From nowhere to World Cup
Dubai, 4 October

Afghanistan have taken a further step in a remarkable rise by qualifying for their first World Cup (World T20, 2014) courtesy of a crushing win over Kenya. Afghanistan only became an International Cricket Council affiliate member in 2001 and were granted associate status this year on the back on successive appearances at the World Twenty20. Afghanistan Cricket Federation is set up by Afghan expats living in Pakistan, and the country is an affiliate member of ICC.

3. Bayern win Champions League, four other trophies
London, 25 May

Bayern Munich had a dream season this year when they won Champions League, DFB Cup, DFB Super Cup and Bundesliga. Facing Borussia Dortmund in two finals, the German club triumphed and fans rejoiced too.


3. From ruin to Rio, Bosnia in WC
Sarajaevo, 15 October

When most people think of the main street of Sarajevo, they probably picture the bombs and lifeless bodies that characterised the area during the bloody Bosnian war of the 1990s. However, in the early hours of Wednesday morning last week, it was a starkly different story in what is known as ‘Titova’ Street in the nation’s capital. At around three in the morning, the image of the formerly perilous street was replaced by tens of thousands of locals, who took to the city’s centre to celebrate and welcome home their national football side from Lithuania after they had recorded a 1-nil victory to secure Bosnia’s first-ever World Cup berth. Fireworks exploded in the sky as fans jumped and chanted with their footballing heroes. Many people cried. Some like to say that sports such as football are nothing more than a game, but this event was history making. No, it was more than that, this was life changing.


5. Pistorious shoots girlfriend
Cape Town, 14 February

South African Paralympic athlete Oscar Pistorius was arrested over the fatal shooting of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp at his home, local media say. Police said they have charged a 26-year-old man with murder, but did not confirm it was Pistorius. The precise circumstances surrounding the incident are unclear. Reports say he may have mistaken her for a burglar. Pistorius, 26, is known as the ‘blade runner’, and was the first double amputee to run in the Olympics. The incident marked a shambolic tale in the athlete’s achievements so far seeing a sad taste in his career.


6. PV Sindhu first Indian woman to win World C’Ship medal
Rio de Janeiro, 1 July

Rising shuttler PV Sindhu was conferred with the prestigious Arjuna Award on 24 September. Sindhu had missed the opportunity to receive the award from President Pranab Mukhejee at the Rashtrapati Bhawan on 31 August, as she was busy playing in the final of the Indian Badminton league (IBL). 18-year-old Sindhu became the first Indian woman shuttler to clinch a bronze medal at World Championships in August. Her sterling victories over the defending champion Yihan Wang and Asian Games gold medallist Shixian Wang en route the last four stage.


7. Sao Paulo:
Sebastian Vettel won Formula One’s season-ending Brazilian Grand Prix on 24 November, matching Michael Schumacher’s record of 13 victories in a year and equaling the nine consecutive wins of Alberto Ascari. Vettel’s Red Bull teammate Mark Webber was second in his final F1 race. Fernando Alonso of Ferrari was third. Vettel, who had already wrapped up a fourth straight F1 title, was overtaken by Nico Rosberg of Mercedes at the start but regained the lead on the second lap and cruised to his second victory in Brazil, and 39th of his career. He crossed the line 10.4 seconds in front of Webber.


8. Brazil warm up for FIFA 2014 with third Confederation Cup, trounce Spain 3-0 in final
Rio de Janeiro, 1 July

CONFED CUP: Brazil beat Euro and World Champions Spain 3-0 at the Maracana to win the 2013 Confederations Cup. This was their third consecutive Confed Cup. With the FIFA World Cup to be played in Brazil in 2014, the major win at home has proved essential in shaping the Samba boy’s current stature and they are considered favourites to land the World Cup in their own home soil. With a young squad and galaxy of promise, Luiz Phillipe Scholari’s side will look to repeat the same performance.


9. Usain Bolt rules
Moscow, 11 August

Usain Bolt continued his superiority as the fastest man in the world by winning the World Championships in Moscow this year. On August 11, 2013, Bolt regained the title as world’s fastest man by winning the World Championships 100m in Moscow, with a time of 9.77s (-0.3 m/s wind), ahead of Justin Gatlin in second with a time of 9.85s.On August 17, Bolt won the 200-meter race for his 2nd gold medal of the world championships with a time of 19.66 secs. Bolt won a third gold in the 4x100 m relay.

10. IPL spot-fixing: BCCI bans Sreesanth for life
15 May, New Delhi

The 2013 Indian Premier League spot fixing and betting case arose when the Delhi Police arrested three cricketers, Sreesanth, Ajit Chandila and Ankeet Chavan, on the charges of spot-fixing. The three represented the Rajasthan Royals in the 2013 Indian Premier League. Sreesanth was arrested from his friend's house, whereas Chandila and Chavan were arrested from their team hotel in Mumbai. Rajasthan Royals suspended the contracts of the three players until the investigation is complete. Delhi police have claimed that Sreesanth and Chavan have confessed being involved in the spot fixing. The police also claimed that Chandila had tried to get other players, including Chavan, involved in the spot fixing under the direction of the bookies. The Board for Control of Cricket in India (BCCI) suspended the players till further investigation. bcCI secretary Sanjay Jagdale, said,’The BCCI is shocked and saddened at the recent developments. The BCCI has zero tolerance to corruption. We will offer all cooperation to the Delhi police and all other authorities in their investigations in this matter. The IPL Governing Council has met and decided that the cricketers found involved will be dealt with severely. On 4 June 2013, Delhi Police said that Sreeshant, Chandila and Chavan and 23 other people arrested by them in the spot-fixing scandal were going to be slapped with the provisions of Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) since they were acting under the command of underworld dons Dawood Ibrahim and Chhota Shakeel. Sreesanth, Ankeet Chavan and 17 other people.


11. Andy Murray creates history
London, 7 July

Andy Murray's long-awaited Wimbledon victory against Novak Djokovic could signal a tilting of an entrenched dynamic. Murray, though it took him a while to break through, has become a significant force in the chase for majors.Scotland's Murray is the first British man to win Wimbledon in 77 years, since Fred Perry won the last of three in a row in 1936 ’I still can't believe it,’ Murray said a couple of hours after sending the Kingdom into collective delirium.

12. Sir Alex Ferguson ends 26-year-old career
London, 8 May

Long-serving Manchester United manager shocked football fraternity by finally announcing his retirement on 8 May 2013. He won 13 Premier League titles, five FA Cups, four League Cups and the Champions League twice in his 26 and a half years in charge of the English champions. He chose Everton’s David Moyes as his successor.
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