It's squeaky-bum time for
Before we were all consumed by the tidal wave of importance that is Gary Cahill's future, or Jason Puncheon's loan deal, there was a rather more meaningful sporting summer narrative.
Sachin Tendulkar is on 99 international hundreds, and on the final day of the Test series he fell nine runs short of the landmark. He has five more chances to do it this summer, starting today in Durham. This is not necessarily the stage he would have chosen. But what is Tendulkar if not a man for all venues and contexts? King Lear in a Lidl car-park is still King Lear, and a one-day international in Durham or Cardiff is as good a place as any to make history. For him to do it here would be the perfect and fitting end to a dream of a cricketing summer.
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Pioli does not see in the season
In the week when Steve McClaren realised that Billy Davies might have been right all along, it became clear that there are worse owners even than those of Nottingham Forest. Palermo president Maurizio Zamparini dismissed the 36th manager of his 24-year football career this week, sacking Stefano Pioli after giving him only the summer months in charge. Pioli replaced Delio Rossi in June, but was this week himself replaced by Devis Mangia, having overseen precisely zero games in charge. What on earth could he have done wrong? Not sent a postcard from holiday in Sardinia? Not laid out the cones in pre-season training with sufficient alacrity? Suddenly, our distaste for a Doug Ellis or Peter Swales looks very parochial. The best products are always to be found abroad.
Have you been paying attention?
1. Roger Federer won his 225th Grand Slam match this week – who is the only player to have won more?
2. Who made the biggest Premier League move on deadline day, to which club, and for how much?
3. Which South African-born 25-year-old took four wickets during England's Twenty20 win over India at Old Trafford this week?
4. Who scored England's second try in their 20-9 victory over Ireland in Dublin last weekend?
5. Which country was dropped from the Formula One calendar?
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