Chair umpire Marija Cicak makes history

Wednesday 14th July 2021 07:20 EDT

Chair umpire Marija Cicak made history on Sunday as she became the first female to officiate the men's singles final at Wimbledon in 144 years. Marija Cicak is the umpire for the title clash between world No. 1 Novak Djokovic and Italian Matteo Berrittini at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club in London. The 43-year-old Cicak has been an umpire at The Championships for the last 15 years and has also officiated in 10 WTA Finals. She was also the umpire at the 2014 Wimbledon women’s final and the women’s doubles final three years later. Cicak also officiated the women’s singles gold medal match at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics. The Croatian official is also a gold badge chair umpire and a member of the WTA Elite Team since 2012. A Statement from Wimbledon read: ‘The Chair Umpire for the Gentlemen’s Singles Final is Marija Cicak, 43, from Zagreb in Croatia. Marija has worked at 15 consecutive Championships as well as 10 year-end WTA Finals and numerous Davis Cup and Billie Jean King Cup ties around the world. In addition, she has worked at the Olympic Games in Athens, London, and Rio, where she umpired the Women’s Singles Final.’

Ashwin opens bowling for Surrey

Veteran India cricketer Ravichandran Ashwin made history on Sunday as he became the first spinner to bowl the first over in a County Championship match in 11 years when he started the proceedings for Surrey against Somerset at The Oval. Ashwin, who decided to play for Surrey to prepare for next month's Test series against England, opened the bowling for Surrey after Somerset captain James Hildreth won the toss and elected to bat first. Ashwin, who replaced the injured Kyle Jamieson for this game, gave away just 2 runs from the first over of the match bowled to Somerset openers Devon Conway and Steven Davies. The off-spinner later picked up the wicket of No.3 batsman Tom Lammonby for 42 in the 40th over to reduce Somerset to 113 for 3. Ashwin has played for Nottinghamshire and Worcestershire in the County Championships in the past. He joins Hashim Amla as the second overseas player for Surrey in their final Group 2 match. Ashwin will play only one match for Surrey as he will join the rest of the Indian squad, who were given a 20-day break, to gear up for the 4-Test series against England, starting August 4.

Hockey legend, Oly gold winner Datt dies

Two-time Olympic gold medal-winning hockey legend Keshav Datt died last week due to age-related ailments, marking the end of a glorious era in the sport. Datt was 95 and is survived by wife, two sons and a daughter, all of whom are settled abroad. The former centre halfback died at his residence in Santoshpur, Kolkata where he was living alone. “It's a very sad time for our family. Normally I visit him three-four times a year but because of the pandemic, I've not been able to see him since 2019,” his daughter Anjali Keshav Poulsen said. “I've booked my tickets and will be there to perform the last rites,” she added. Born on December 29, 1925 in Lahore, Datt was a part of India’s golden era in hockey after making Kolkata his home following the partition. A formidable half-back, he was part of India’s historic feat at the1948 Olympics where the country beat home team Britain 4-0 at the Wembley Stadium in London to win the first gold post Independence. Before the 1948 Olympics, Datt toured East Africa under the leadership of the iconic Major Dhyan Chand in1947. Datt was also a part of the Indian team at the 1952 Helsinki Games, where they beat Netherlands 6-1 in the summit clash to become the Olympic champions for the fifth consecutive time.

James Anderson reaches 1,000 first-class wickets

England pace bowler James Anderson reached 1,000 first-class wickets last week as he picked seven for 19 for Lancashire against Kent in a County Championship match. The 38-year-old, who has picked 617 Test wickets and is just three wickets short of surpassing Anil Kumble (619 wickets) and becoming the third highest wicket-taker in Tests behind Sri Lanka’s Muttiah Muralitharan (800) and Aussie Shane Warne (708), helped his team bundle out Kent for 74 in just 26.2 overs. Anderson, who had 995 wickets before the start of this match, removed his England teammate and opener Zak Crawley for a duck in the innings’ first over and then got rid of the other opener, Jordan Cox for 1 in the innings’ third over. He then ran through the lower and middle-order to put his team in command. Last month, the pace bowler went past former England captain Alastair Cook as the most experienced Test cricketer for England. He has now played 162 Test matches. England will be relying on his experience in the five-match Test series against India that begins next month in Nottingham. The record for most first-class wickets rests with former England left-arm spinner Wilfred Rhodes, who has 4,204 wickets.

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