Today marks 25 years since Major League Baseball stars called off their strike, which had resulted in the previous year's World Series being scrapped.

It is also 38 years to the day since the New York Mets were left stunned by the death of one of the biggest names in baseball.

History was made on this day in England at Aintree in 1977, while India's cricketers and Manchester United's Wayne Rooney were both celebrating nine years ago.

Let's take a look back at April 2 in sporting history.

1972 - Baseball in shock as Mets manager Hodges dies

Gil Hodges had been a superstar with the Brooklyn Dodgers and Los Angeles Dodgers, and rounded off his playing career with the just-founded New York Mets. An eight-time All-Star, as a coach he added to the two World Series with the Dodgers, Hodges famously reviving the Mets and leading them to a shock 1969 title triumph over the Baltimore Orioles. But Hodges died on April 2, 1972, at the age of just 47, when he suffered a heart attack following a round of golf in West Palm Beach, Florida. It was his second heart attack: a first came in Atlanta in September 1968, early in his career as manager of the Mets.

1977 - Red Rum wins third Grand National

Tommy Stack rode Red Rum to Aintree glory, as the Ireland-bred steeplechaser followed up 1973 and 1974 triumphs at the Liverpool course with an unprecedented third Grand National victory. The feat has never been matched, with Red Rum triumphing against the odds after second-placed finishes in 1975 and 1976. At the age of 12, Red Rum's third success went down as one of racing's most famous wins.

1995 - Baseball stars go back to work

From August 12 1994 until April 2 1995, there was no top-tier baseball in the United States, with MLB stars going on strike in a labour dispute that stemmed from salary-cap proposals that got players riled. The 1994-95 season was abandoned in September, and the strike lasted for 232 days until judge Sonia Sotomayor's injunction against team owners persuaded the players to go back to work.

2011 - India triumph, Rooney treble

India landed Cricket World Cup glory in front of their home fans in Mumbai when the hosts landed a six-wicket win over Sri Lanka in the final. Mahela Jayawardene made a century in Sri Lanka's 274-6 before India reached their target with 10 balls to spare, helped by 97 from Gautam Gambhir and 91 not out from MS Dhoni.

In London, on the same day, Wayne Rooney scored a hat-trick as Manchester United came from 2-0 behind to defeat West Ham 4-2 at Upton Park in the Premier League, an important result as Alex Ferguson's team went on to win the title weeks later.

March 23 should forever be etched in the memories of Australian cricket fans, but Javier Mascherano will not remember the date so fondly.

Poor India were on the wrong end of a hammering in the 2003 Cricket World Cup final in Johannesburg, even with a star-studded batting line-up at their disposal.

Mascherano and his Liverpool team-mates also suffered a heavy defeat at Old Trafford, though the midfielder did not stick around to hear the final whistle.

Meanwhile, in golf, there was a lesser-spotted Monday finish on the PGA Tour.

We look back at the major events that happened on this day in sport.

 

1981: Floyd reigns at Sawgrass after thunderstorms

The eighth edition of the Players Championship was forced into a Monday finish after bad weather wiped out the scheduled final day at Sawgrass.

Heavy thunderstorms led to a Monday finish, with three players – Raymond Floyd, Barry Jaeckel and Curtis Strange – tied at the top after 72 holes were completed.

A play-off between the trio lasted just the one extra hole; Floyd was the only player to par the 15th to secure the tournament.

It was his second successive win during the PGA Tour's Florida swing, the American having also prevailed at Doral near Miami the previous week.  

 

2003 - Skipper Ponting shines as Australia rule the world again

There was simply no stopping Australia in South Africa, Ricky Ponting's squad successfully retaining the trophy with a thumping victory over India to make sure they went through the 2003 tournament unbeaten.

The captain led from the front too, Ponting blasting a superb 140 not out as he shared in an unbroken stand worth 234 with Damien Martyn, who finished up unbeaten on 88.

Replying to a mammoth total of 359-2, India simply never recovered from losing Sachin Tendulkar - who was named player of the tournament - in the first over of their reply, caught and bowled by Glenn McGrath.

Virender Sehwag did make 82, but Australia bowled their opponents out inside 40 overs to win by 125 runs, in the process sealing their third World Cup crown.

 

2008: Ronaldo on target as Mascherano loses his cool

Manchester United remained on the path to retaining their Premier League title with a 3-0 victory over 10-man Liverpool.

Defender Wes Brown was the unlikely scorer of the opener, while Portuguese duo Cristiano Ronaldo and Nani added further goals in a comfortable win for the table-topping Red Devils.

They were aided by the dismissal of Mascherano, who was sent off for dissent before half-time. The Argentina international did not go quietly, however, as he needed to be escorted off the field.

United went on to be crowned champions again, a 17th top-flight title putting them just one behind their arch-rivals' tally at the time.

With the majority of world sports postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic, we have time to look back at some famous - and perhaps forgotten - exploits and broaden our knowledge.

Regardless of how much we think we know, there is always more that can be learned. A trip down memory lane often proves worthwhile.

With that in mind, we looked back at what occurred on March 21 in years gone by to bring you the best bits.

 

1953 – An NBA record that still stands

When the Boston Celtics hosted the Syracuse Nationals in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference semi-finals it was a game that went down in history.

The teams combined for an incredible 106 personal fouls in a quadruple-overtime battle that saw 12 players foul out, with neither team having enough personnel left to make substitutions in the final two OT periods.

Police were also required to get fans and players off the floor following Dolph Schayes and Bob Brannum getting into a fight that saw both ejected.

Red Rocha and Paul Seymour played 67 minutes each in a slug fest that ended with the Celtics triumphing 111-105.

 

1971 – Gavaskar gets going

Sunil Gavaskar is undoubtedly one of the greatest openers in Test cricket history.

In just his second match in the longest format for India, he scored the first of his 34 centuries.

It came in the third Test against West Indies in Georgetown, Guyana, and he made 116 in his first innings of what ended up a drawn match.

 

1982 – Pate at the Players

The 1982 Players Championship was the first on the Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass and Jerry Pate ensured it lived long in the memory.

After sending his ball into the water at the par-four 18th in round three, Pate thought victory had slipped from his grasp.

However, in round for he posted gains on the island-green 17th and the final hole to defeat his brother-in-law Bruce Lietzke and Scott Simpson by two shots.

To celebrate, he took a famous dip in the water hazard at the last.

 

1987 – Record-breaking Gullit agrees Milan move

Silvio Berlusconi made Ruud Gullit the most expensive player in the world when he signed him from PSV.

The powerful midfielder won the 1987 Ballon d'Or and went on to win three Serie A titles and back-to-back European Cups during his time in Milan.

Gullit now has a permanent place in the Rossoneri's Hall of Fame.

The sporting calendar over the next few weeks looks extremely bare as events continue to be postponed or cancelled as a result of the threat of the coronavirus.

All of Europe's top five leagues have now been suspended, as the Bundesliga followed Serie A, LaLiga, Ligue 1 and the Premier League in calling a halt to proceedings just hours before its latest round of fixtures was due to kick off.

Golf's first major, the Masters, will not take place on April 9 as initially scheduled, while the Giro d'Italia, the final Six Nations match between Wales and Scotland, and marathons in London and Boston have all been affected by COVID-19, too.

With the number of confirmed cases worldwide now totalling over 140,000, we take a look at the latest round of postponements.

 

After the PGA Tour cancelled all events leading up the Masters, all eyes were on whether the prestigious event at Augusta National Golf Club would be called off until further notice. That news arrived on Friday, with organisers saying it was "appropriate under these unique circumstances".

With around four hours to go before the first Bundesliga game of matchday 26, the league was finally suspended due to the growing number of COVID-19 cases in Germany.

Defender Timo Hubers, who plays for 2. Bundesliga side Hannover, was one of the first players across Europe to test positive for the virus, and Paderborn, who had been due to Fortuna Dusseldorf on Friday night, were waiting on tests results for their players when news came down from the league.

Clubs will meet again on Monday, with the league advising a suspension until April 2.

World Cup qualifiers in Africa were suspended, while European clubs such as Paris Saint-Germain and Barcelona have stopped their players from training at their facilities for the time being.

As Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba encouraged people to "dab to beat coronavirus" and Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp backed the decision to postpone the Premier League, Serie A clubs Sampdoria and Fiorentina reported positive cases involving their players in Italy, one of the worst-affected countries.

The country's major cycling race, the Giro d'Italia, will not begin as scheduled on May 9 as Hungary said it was unwilling to host the first three stages. The whole race was subsequently postponed.

Six Nations contest between Italy and England in Rome, originally slated for Saturday, had already been called off, and the only fixture of the tournament not to be postponed was put back indefinitely on Friday. Wales' clash with Scotland in Cardiff was finally called off the day before it was set to take place, while Sunday's Premiership Rugby Cup final between Sale Sharks and Harlequins has also been postponed.

South Africa's ODI tour of India will be rescheduled for another time, the first match having been washed out on Thursday, while the Boston Marathon will now take place on September 14. The new date for the London Marathon is October 4.

Elsewhere, NASCAR has postponed races in Atlanta and Miami over the next two weekends. Those races were initially going to be held without fans. All IndyCar Series races through April have been cancelled.

India's remaining two ODIs against South Africa have been postponed as the spread of coronavirus continues to wreak havoc on the sporting calendar across the world.

The first ODI on Thursday was abandoned without a ball being bowled in Dharamsala due to bad weather.

And the Board of Control for Cricket in India announced on Friday the meetings in Lucknow on Sunday and Kolkata on March 18 - both scheduled to be played behind closed doors - will not go ahead as the COVID-19 threat grows.

South Africa will now visit India at a later date to play a three-match series.

Meanwhile, it was confirmed on Friday the IPL, due to get underway on March 29, will now begin on April 15.

There have been more than 80 confirmed cases of coronavirus in India, resulting in one death.

The first ODI international between India and South Africa was abandoned without a ball being bowled in Dharamsala.

Both teams suffered the same fate at the same venue six months ago when they were set to meet in a T20I showdown.

The washout means the three-match series will head to Lucknow on Sunday all square.

Hardik Pandya, Shikhar Dhawan and Bhuvneshwar Kumar are back in the India ODI squad to face South Africa after recovering from injuries.

All-rounder Pandya had not played an international game since September having undergone back surgery.

A shoulder injury suffered in the ODIs with Australia in January had kept Dhawan on the sidelines, while Bhuvneshwar, who last played for India in December, has been out with a sports hernia.

They return to the squad along with opener Shubman Gill. Kedar Jadhav, Shivam Dube, Shardul Thakur, Mohammed Shami and Mayank Agarwal drop out from the squad that suffered a 3-0 whitewash in New Zealand.

Pandya provided a reminder of his quality with the bat as he proved his fitness to selectors in the invitational DY Patil T20 competition.

He scored two centuries in that tournament, including an unbeaten 158, and will hope to make a similar impact against a South Africa side that completed a 3-0 series win over Australia on Saturday.

The first match of the three-game series takes place on Thursday in Dharamsala.


India squad: Virat Kohli (captain), Jasprit Bumrah, Yuzvendra Chahal, Shikhar Dhawan, Shubman Gill, Shreyas Iyer, Ravindra Jadeja, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Manish Pandey, Hardik Pandya, Rishabh Pant, KL Rahul, Navdeep Saini, Prithvi Shaw, Kuldeep Yadav.

Australia captain Meg Lanning praised her team for coming through "tough times" to emphatically win the Women's T20 World Cup on home soil.

Alyssa Healy smashed 75 from 39 balls and opening partner Beth Mooney top-scored with an unbeaten 78 as Australia posted 184-4 in Melbourne, a total that proved well beyond India's reach as they were all out for 99 in reply.

However, while they triumphed by the huge margin of 85 runs in the final, it had not always been plain sailing for Lanning and her squad during the tournament.

They lost to India in their opening match in the group stage and, already without Tayla Vlaeminck due to a fractured foot, were dealt a further blow when Ellyse Perry suffered a hamstring injury against New Zealand.

The duo were still present for the victory over India on Sunday, taking part in the celebrations after Australia were crowned champions for a fifth time in front of a crowd of 86,174 - a new record for a women's cricket match and a female sporting event in Australia.

"I'm just really proud of this group of players and staff," Lanning said at the presentation ceremony.

"We've had everything thrown at us, ups and downs. It was tough, definitely, especially after we lost that first game. There was a lot of expectation on us, inside and out.

"There were definitely some tough times in there, but we stuck with each other, had each other's backs.

"Coming in they [the injured players] were a big part of our plans, we had to go to plan B and C.

"It's been massive, 86,000 people at the MCG, I've never seen it before and didn't think I'd be part of it in the middle."

India were left to rue missed opportunities in the field - Healy was dropped by Shafali Verma in the first over, while they also put down a chance off Mooney during a pivotal 115-run opening stand.

Skipper Harmanpreet Kaur hopes her players will learn from the experience after reaching the final of the T20 event for the first time.

"We need to focus, especially in fielding," she said. "But I trust this team. It's part of the game, sometimes you win and sometimes you lose. You have to keep learning. 

"If we talk about the last T20 World Cup, we got to the semi-finals, and this time to the final. I think we're on the right path.

"Every year we are improving. We just need to think of how we play with focus in the main games. Sometimes we don't manage that."

Alyssa Healy and Beth Mooney starred with the bat as Australia eased to an 85-run victory over India in the Women's T20 World Cup final on Sunday.

A crowd of 86,174 – a record for a women's cricket match – witnessed the tournament hosts dominate throughout at the famous MCG.

Australia posted 184-4 after opting to bat first, Mooney top-scoring with an unbeaten 78 from 54 deliveries.

However, it was opening partner Healy who stole the show, capitalising on an early life - she was dropped by Shafali Verma in the first over - to hit the fastest half-century in an ICC final.

Watched by husband Mitchell Starc, who was given permission to leave Australia's tour of South Africa early to be at the game, Healy needed just 39 balls to smash 75.

The right-hander hit seven fours and five sixes - including three in a row during an over from Shikha Pandey - before she was eventually caught at long on, ending a first-wicket stand worth 115 with Mooney.

Chasing such a daunting target, India stumbled out of the blocks. The big-hitting Verma fell to the third ball of their reply, caught behind by wicketkeeper Healy off the bowling of Megan Schutt.

Taniya Bhatia had to retire hurt due to concussion before Jemimah Rodrigues was caught at mid on, leaving the score at 8-2 at the end of the second over.

Deepti Sharma was the only player to provide any real resistance with 33, Schutt finishing with figures of 4-18 as India were bowled out for 99 with five balls remaining.

Despite the absences of Tayla Vlaeminck and Ellyse Perry, who both suffered injuries in the group stage, Australia were crowned T20 champions for a fifth time, albeit this is their first title on home soil.

Australia will defend their Women's T20 World Cup title in the final against India after defeating South Africa in a rain-affected match at the SCG.

The hosts and reigning champions posted 134-5 in a match at first delayed and then truncated by rain, with the earlier semi-final between England and India having been a washout.

While Australia were able to bat their full allocation, their opponents were limited to 13 overs and required 98 runs.

However, they were only able to reach 92-5 as Australia won by five runs, with maiden finalists India up next in Melbourne on Sunday.

Captain Meg Lanning led by example with an unbeaten 49, while disciplined bowling from Megan Schutt (2-17 off three overs) helped to limit a South Africa side for whom Laura Wolvaardt top-scored on 41.

India progressed to their first Women's T20 World Cup decider after rain ruined the semi-final as England were sent home without taking to the field.

Thursday's first semi-final was abandoned due to rain in Sydney, with India automatically qualifying for Sunday's showpiece in Melbourne as Group A winners.

Play was meant to start at 15:00 local time at the SCG before persistent rain forced the final-four clash to be called off at 16:08.

India – three-time semi-finalists – will face either South Africa or hosts Australia in the T20 final.

Thursday's second semi-final is also in doubt amid the wet weather, with Group B winners Proteas set to advance should it be washed out.

Faf du Plessis and Rassie van der Dussen have been recalled to South Africa's ODI squad for the series with India, for which George Linde has received his maiden limited-overs call-up.

Du Plessis and Van der Dussen were both involved in the T20 series with Australia but were rested for the ongoing ODI series, which South Africa lead 1-0.

However, they will feature in a three-match series in India, which starts in Dharamsala on March 12.

Also included is left-arm spinner Linde, whose only previous international appearance came in the third Test against India last year in Ranchi, where South Africa lost by an innings and 202 runs.

Linde took 4-133 in that heavy defeat, and has 86 wickets in his list A career at an average of 28.95.

Kyle Verreynne, whose 48 off 64 balls helped the Proteas beat Australia in the first ODI, keeps his place in the squad. Tabraiz Shamsi is unavailable for selection as he and his wife are expecting the birth of their first child.

"It is exciting to see the amount of competition for spots that we have within the team and in the franchises, it's a good headache for us as selectors to have," Linda Zondi, CSA's independent selector, said. 

"We are satisfied with our picks for what will certainly be a challenging tour of India. We saw some promising performances last year from the T20 squad that travelled there and we wanted to give a player like George Linde another crack at the conditions which seemed to really suit him. 

"We are also particularly pleased with the balance of youth and experience that we have achieved while our young leadership group continues to establish itself. We are looking forward to some good performances in this relatively short tour."

 


South Africa squad: Quinton de Kock (captain), Temba Bavuma, Faf du Plessis, Beuran Hendricks, Heinrich Klaasen, George Linde, Keshav Maharaj, David Miller, Lungi Ngidi, Anrich Nortje, Andile Phehlukwayo, Lutho Sipamla, Jon-Jon Smuts, Rassie van der Dussen, Kyle Verreynne.  

Virat Kohli lamented India's batting after their Test series loss to New Zealand, while paying tribute to the Black Caps.

New Zealand wrapped up a 2-0 series win over India on Monday thanks to a seven-wicket victory in Christchurch.

India struggled with the bat throughout the series, posting scores of 165 and 191 in the first Test in Wellington and 242 and 124 at Hagley Oval.

Kohli praised New Zealand's bowlers and rued his side's batting after their series defeat.

"It was a matter of not having enough intent in the first game and then playing well in the first innings here but then again the small things, small margins," the India captain told Sky Sport.

"When you sit down and look back at this series you have to also give credit to the New Zealand bowlers because they bowled in the right areas for long enough, created a lot of pressure. There were hardly any scoring opportunities so that meant you had to play extravagant shots to get runs rather than just rotating strike and getting runs easily.

"It was a combination of us not quite having the right kind of execution and New Zealand playing really well in their conditions and I think the bowling and the consistency was outstanding and that's something that forced our batting to make those mistakes.

"We're usually a batting side that does show a bit of fight and put up scores on the board, but there was just not enough done by the batsmen in the series for the bowlers to try and attack."

After ripping through the India lower-order to begin day three in Christchurch, New Zealand were untroubled on the way to their target of 132 for victory.

Black Caps captain Kane Williamson was happy with his team and said their ability to combine for small but vital partnerships was crucial.

"Outstanding," he said. "Both fairly sporting surfaces where bowlers had to put the ball in the right area, but if you did you created opportunities throughout every day of this game which was surprising. History suggests that it does a bit initially and then flattens out.

"I guess therein lies the value in a lot of those partnerships that we had with the bat, those 30s and 40s that were huge out there on that surface.

"I don't think the end result reflected how perhaps tight that match was because as we saw in both innings the ball going past the outside of the bat and it is such a fine line, but a fantastic series from our side in terms of the balance with the bat and the ball and the way the guys stuck at it.

"As we know, it is a fine line and India are a world-class side, top of the comp [ICC World Test Championship], so a great effort from the guys."

New Zealand wrapped up a 2-0 series victory over India with a seven-wicket win in the second Test in Christchurch on Monday.

India set the Black Caps just 132 to win on day three and the hosts had no troubles reaching their target at Hagley Oval.

After 16 wickets incredibly fell on Sunday, India needed a response to begin day three, but they added just 34 runs after resuming at 90-6.

Tom Latham (52) and Tom Blundell (55) ensured New Zealand cruised through their chase to win the series 2-0.

Hanuma Vihari (9) was the first to go on Monday, caught down the leg side by BJ Watling off Tim Southee (3-36).

India were unable to get anything going, although Ravindra Jadeja did manage an unbeaten 16 off just 22 balls.

Trent Boult (4-28) added the wicket of Rishabh Pant (4) and Southee also removed Mohammed Shami (5) before Jasprit Bumrah (4) was run out.

While India's bowlers caused some initial problems to Latham and Blundell, the openers set up what proved a comfortable chase for the Black Caps.

Latham fell to Umesh Yadav (1-45) and Kane Williamson (5) went off Bumrah, who bowled Blundell to finish with 2-39 before Ross Taylor and Henry Nicholls helped New Zealand see out their victory.

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.