Below, Osman Samiuddin picks his five favourite moments from the past week of the world in sport:
1 Best kerfuffle WT20: India and Pakistan
India, Pakistan, a world tournament and a contest at the foothills of the Himalayas – what could possibly go wrong? Everything really, especially if the chief minister of the province where the match was to be played says he cannot provide security for Pakistan. Since he said it, all manner of political wrangling and posturing has taken place between the two boards and the departure of the men’s and women’s teams delayed. Finally an agreement has been reached to shift the game to Kolkata, just 10 days before it takes place.
2 Best film reference: Peyton Gump
As a final contribution, there are worse ways to bow out than winning the Super Bowl. That was how Peyton Manning did it, announcing the end of an 18-year career earlier this week. He leaves the sport as one of its most accomplished players. But it was not quite the perfect send-off. He goes amid the resurfacing of an old allegation of an indecent assault. He dismissed it in his final news conference, with a line from Forrest Gump: “That’s all I have to say about that.”
3 Best defiance: Fed-up Arsenal fans
“Arsene thanks for the memories but it’s time to say goodbye”. That was the banner unfurled during Arsenal’s 4-0 victory over Hull City that took them into the quarter-final of the FA Cup. Was Arsene Wenger worried? Not a chance. “Do you know someone who has won it [the FA Cup] more than me?” he asked. He has a point, though equally, you can understand the fan sentiment. This is the closest Arsenal have been to a title for so long that the belated prospect of missing out on it is going to hurt that little bit more.
4 Best innings: Mohammed Shahzad
Shahzad was famously dropped from Afghanistan’s 2015 World Cup squad because he was deemed to be too unfit to warrant a place. Nobody said that his batting had waned. Which is why Shahzad’s return to the world stage this week was so heartening. He still looks as portly as he did, but a 39-ball 61 in their World Twenty20 opener against Scotland was a reminder of his batting skills.
5 Best dunk: Zach LaVine’s 360 beauty
As a piece of pure athleticism you will do well to witness anything better than Zach LaVine’s incredible 360-degree dunk on Monday night. There was no pressure, but it still took some doing, against the Charlotte Hornets. Given that he is a two-time winner of the NBA Slam Dunk contest, it should have come as no real surprise.