If you are sports fan, then this is the weekend to be a couch potato and be proud of it. From kabaddi to cricket, and football to formula one, there's something for everyone. Here's a look at all the sporting action that you can catch over the next few days.
Kabaddi World Cup 2016
The 2016 Kabaddi World Cup kicks off on Friday in Ahmedabad. Besides the hosts, the US, England, Australia, Iran, Poland, Thailand, Bangladesh, South Korea, Japan, Argentina and Kenya will vie for the top honours. An opening-day double-header will see India lock horns with South Korea while Iran take on a relatively easy opponents in first-timers US. The 12 teams will be divided into two pools of six teams each. The tournament will be played in a round-robin format, where the top two sides from each pool will qualify for the semis, with the final slated for 22 October. Matches will start at 7 pm IST on the weekends.
Indian Super League 2016
Mumbai City FC play their first match at home, at their new venue — Mumbai Football Arena in the Andheri Sports Complex. After winning their opening match against FC Pune city, they now take on NorthEast United on Friday. FC Goa are up against Pune on Saturday, and both teams will be looking to register their first win of this season. Finally on Sunday, Delhi Dynamos travel to Kochi to play Kerala Blasters. The ISL matches kick off at 7 pm IST and you can catch the action live online and on TV.
India vs New Zealand third Test
Captain Virat Kohli on Friday confirmed that seasoned opening batsman Gautam Gambhir will return to the playing eleven when the Indian cricket team takes on a beleaguered New Zealand in the inconsequential third and final Test at the Holkar stadium in Indore on Saturday. In the bowling department, India will miss the services of medium pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who is out with a back injury after grabbing a five-wicket haul in the first innings in Kolkata. Although Mumbai pacer Shardul Thakur has been roped in as a replacement for Bhuvneshwar, Umesh Yadav is most likely to partner Mohammed Shami with the new ball. The five-day Test match starts at 9:30 am IST on Saturday.
Fifa World Cup qualifiers
The Fifa World Cup 2018 qualifiers will continue over the weekend, after a first round of matches on Thursday night. Spain defender Jordi Alba has been dropped from the team's squad because of a muscle injury sustained in the World Cup qualifier against Italy and he will not travel with the rest of the team for Sunday's game at Albania. Phil Jagielka also pulled out of with an injury after he suffered a thigh strain. Jagielka will miss the matches against Malta on Saturday and Slovenia on Tuesday as a result of the problem. Here's a list of all the other matches and their timings.
China Open and Japan Open
The Asian swing of the tennis tour continues with two tournaments in Beijing and Tokyo respectively. The China Open is a combined WTA and ATP event while the Japan Open is a sole Masters 500 tournament. In Tokyo, second seed Gael Monfils set up a clash with Nick Kyrgios in the semi-final. Marin Cilic faces Belgian David Goffin in the other last four encounter. In Beijing, the race for Singapore has heated up, with the female players looking to book their spot in the prestigious WTA Finals. Madison Keys ousted Petra Kvitova in three tight sets to make semis and qualify for the year-ending championships. In the men's draw, Andy Murray, David Ferrer and Milos Raonic all made it through to the last four.
Japanese Grand Prix
Meanwhile, in another part of Asia, formula one racers will compete at the Suzuka International Circuit. With five races remaining in the season, Nico Rosberg holds a 23-point lead over Lewis Hamilton, who had an engine failure while leading last weekend's Malaysian Grand Prix but is chasing a hat trick of victories in Japan. Rosberg set the fastest time in Friday's practice, edging Hamilton. Ferrari driver Kimi Raikkonen was third, encouragingly only three tenths of a second off Rosberg's time. He was followed by Red Bull driver Max Verstappen, then Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel, who won four faces in Suzuka between 2009 and 2013. The final race will be held on Sunday at 10:30 am IST.
(With inputs from agencies)
Published Date: Oct 07, 2016 06:33 pm | Updated Date: Oct 07, 2016 06:49 pm