Let’s face it…2020 hasn’t been the best year for Sportsmen & Women and therefore for sports fans across the globe. The pandemic has had MASSIVE implications on the sporting world & the biggest cancellation perhaps of them all was that of the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympic Games which will now take place from July 23 to August 8, 2021. Wimbledon had to be cancelled, some of the biggest tournaments in the world of Cricket, Golf, Badminton, Football were either postponed or cancelled and even the iconic Boston Marathon, was cancelled for the first time in its 124-year history.
The “Bio-Bubble” perhaps became one of the most used words in sport with most sports leagues and teams having to create secure “bubbles” for their athletes to resume elite sport. There was some respite for fans though towards the last quarter of the year with the IPL resurfacing in September, the EPL resuming and leagues like La Liga, Bundesliga, the NBA and Formula 1 too back in action.
All this means that we start 2021 with HOPE and BELIEF and a blueprint in place for how to conduct a sporting event successfully (just don’t ask Novak Djokovic about that) and it also means that we’ve now got a packed January to enjoy life as a couch potato with an appetite for great sport, so get that popcorn ready and strap yourselves in for a fresh, sporty start to the new year.
So here at Man’s Life, we thought we’d make your life easier and tell you exactly what’s coming your way and when to stay glued to your screens as well:
India continues their tour Down Under as they look to go back to back from their last tour and win the Test Series. It won’t get any easier however with Virat Kohli leaving on paternity leave for the birth of his child but the last two Test in January promise to be cracking contests.
Australia vs India – 3rd Test
When: Jan 7 – Jan 11, 2021
Where: Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG)
Australia vs India – 4th Test
When: Jan 15 – Jan 19, 2021
Where: The Gabba, Brisbane
Action from one of the best T20 leagues in the world, The Big Bash League (BBL) also resumes in January with the Melbourne Renegades taking on the Sydney Thunder on the 1st of January to kickstart the new year and the Grand Finale slated for the 6th of February 2021.
New Zealand are in the hunt for a spot in the Final of the ICC World Test Championship which will be played at Lord’s later in 2021 and they start the year in Christchurch, with their 2nd Test match vs a fiesty Pakistan team led by Babar Azam.
New Zealand vs Pakistan – 2nd Test
When: Jan 3 – Jan 7, 2021
Where: Hagley Oval, Christchurch
Two sides that have struggled for consistency and success, Sri Lanka and South Africa, battle it out at the stunning New Wanderers Stadium in Johannesburg and it promises to be an attacking encounter with the South African quicks like Kagiso Rabada, Nortje and Ngidi up against the new young breed of Sri Lankan batsmen.
South Africa vs Sri Lanka – 2nd Test
When: Jan 3 – Jan 7, 2021
Where: New Wanderers Stadium, Johannesburg
New Zealand close out the month of International cricket as they travel across the trans-tasman sea for a highly anticipated ODI series versus rivals, Australia. The battle of Starc, Cummins, Hazelwood versus Kane Williamson promises plenty while Steve Smith, David Warner and Aaron Finch will be up against the lethal bowling attach of Boult, Southee, Ferguson and co.
Australia vs New Zealand (3 ODIs)
When: January 26, 29, 31
Where: Adelaide, Canberra & Hobart
India’s Women are also going to be a busy bunch in January as they play a 3 Match ODI series down under in Australia. This could be a scintillating series to watch with the highest quality of Women’s cricket on display with Smriti Mandhana, Harmanpreet Kaur, Shefali Verma and co. take on the might of Meg Lanning, Alyssa Healy, Megan Schutt and Elyse Perry among others.
Australia Women vs India Women (3 ODIs)
When: January 22, 25, 28
Where: Canberra, Melbourne & Hobart
The English Premier League starts and ends January with some blockbuster clashes as action resumes in the new year on the 2nd of January with Chelsea vs Man City headlining the fixtures. The month ends with a packed set of fixtures on the 30th of January too, with Arsenal hosting Manchester United at the Emirates Stadium
It’s a fairly quiet month in La Liga with both Barcelona & Real Madrid not facing off but it could be a critical month for both sides to clinch some big wins towards the business end of the season and especially with the transfer market open in January, it becomes imperative that they hold onto the players they want.
Italian Serie A
It’s a month worth watching the Serie A with Cristiano Ronaldo’s Juventus taking on both Italian giants, AC Milan and Inter Milan, on the 6th and 17th of January respectively.
The first Grand Slam of the year was scheduled to be back from the 18th but could be postponed to the 8th of February. All eyes will be on the big three yet again of Roger Federer, Rafa Nadal and Novak Djokovic as the next generation looks to de-throne them, with Dominic Thiem, Medvedev, Tsitsipas and Zverev all showing plenty of promise at the back end of 2020.
When: January 18 – 30
Where: Melbourne Park, Melbourne
How do I watch it: Sony Sports India
The Tournament of Champions in Hawaii kickstarts a fresh year on the PGA Tour with defending Champion Justin Thomas hoping to go back to back against the cream of the crop from the world of Golf.
Sentry Tournament of Champions
January 7-10, 2021