lClearly, Wayne Rooney remains a clear favourite, with fans, colleagues, and the media! After collecting the Professional Footballers’ Association Players’ Player of the Year award recently, the 24-year-old Manchester United and England striker has been named as the Player of the Year by the Football Writers Association. Rooney, who has scored 34 goals for United this season, got 80 per cent of the votes cast by the association members. A distant second in the list was Chelsea striker Didier Drogba, with Manchester City’s Argentine frontman Carlos Tevez in third position.
Wild card win
lSpanish fifth-seeded tennis star Fernando Verdasco decided at the last minute to play the Barcelona Open on a wild card. The 26-year-old left-hander has no reason to regret his decision for he beat his Swedish opponent Robin Soderling, 6-3, 4-6, 6-3. Verdasco’s clay-court season started with the Monte Carlo Masters, where he lost to Rafael Nadal in the final. After winning the Barcelona Cup for five straight years, Nadal skipped the meet this year. Verdasco joked that if Rafa is not here next year, he could win again!
lGrandmaster Abhijeet Gupta’s win at Subic Bay, Philippines, has an added cheer. By clinching the bronze medal, Gupta, who had won the World Junior Chess Championship at Gaziantep, Turkey, in 2008, also became the only Indian qualifier for the World Cup from the recently concluded Asian Chess Championship. He drew with eventual champion China’s Ni Hua in the ninth and final round. Hua finished with seven points, while local star Wesley So bagged silver.
lA day after celebrating his 37th birthday, there was more cheer in store for American golfer Jason Bohn. He won the New Orleans Classic in weather-hit conditions in Avondale, Louisiana. He has reason to be emotional about this second PGA Tour title because this win ends his five-year drought on the US circuit. He gushed that the win was “unbelievable”, and it was — with three birdies in the last four holes.
You can’t get through this week without…
●…watching the ICC World Twenty20! The series, first held in 2007 in South Africa, is on in West Indies and is the third in the series. The competition, between 12 teams divided into four groups, is being played at four grounds — Barbados, Guyana, St Lucia, and St Kitts & Nevis. Apart from your old favourites, watch out for the teams from Afghanistan and Ireland!