The sporting week ahead (29/07/12)

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The Independent Online


Now this is going to be a challenge. What's going on if you don't like the Olympics? The first thing to note is that you are best off avoiding the BBC, with their 185 digital channels broadcasting 25 hours a day. So, is there life beyond the women's lightweight double sculls and the men's handball preliminaries? Well, let's start with the announcement of the England squad for the Second Test. Some of you will be able to remember the time when heads would be chopped and bats broken after the sort of humiliation that befell England in the First Test. The call would go out for some Aussie with Ulster grandparents or an untried stalwart from the shires, a man good enough to do not very much in the next two Tests. But today it is likely to be rather different, along the lines of let's give everyone a second chance. How boring. Those looking for proper sport might turn to the Ramsdens Challenge Cup first round, not a competition that normally enjoys too high a profile. But Brechin v The Rangers FC has an intriguing ring about it for reasons that have nothing to do with the result. The Hungarian Grand Prix might make a few paragraphs down the bottom left-hand corner of a page.


Malaysia v Manchester City provides a welcome alternative to the men's 73kg judo repêchage while Wakefield v Leeds in the Stobart Super League should take care of the evening.


Now we're talking excitement: the Champions' League. And just to make Rangers' fans even more regretful, it's Motherwell v Panathinaikos.


Who needs Usain Bolt when there's Glorious Goodwood? Now that's real speed. Today's highlight sees Frankel, the word's best racehorse, run over a mile in the Sussex Stakes. Meanwhile, it's hard to stop football creeping back on the horizon, with Celtic also making their Champions' League seasonal debut against HJK Helsinki.


It's Liverpool's turn in the Europa League, against those Belarusian powerhouses FC Gomel, surely the sort of game Brendan Rodgers used to dream about when he imagined himself a top European manager. The Second Test between England and South Africa starts at Headingley.


It's getting difficult. The athletics starts today and we really are struggling to find alternatives. How about the Finnish Rally?


The capital's top attraction: London Broncos v Salford in the Stobart Super League. Get there early to avoid the congestion.