Week Ahead, February 26-March 3: Sporting Action To Look Forward To Across Arenas

India will be gunning for their 17th successive home Test series triumph as they look to chase down England's target of 192 on Day 4 of the fourth Test. In the English Premier League, Manchester City will host Manchester United. Check out the comprehensive sports schedule from February 26 to March 3


AP/Ajit Solanki
India captain Rohit Sharma plays a shot on the third day of the fourth Test match against England in Ranchi on Sunday, February 25, 2024. Photo: AP/Ajit Solanki

Last weekend, the Indian men's cricket team had demolished Ben Stokes's England by a staggering 434-run margin to take a 2-1 lead in the five-match Test series. They have had to fight far harder in the fourth game, but what that also means is that spectators are in for a delicious Monday morning as the Rohit Sharma-led side resumes its pursuit of a 192-run target in Ranchi. Chase it down, and they will seal their 17th consecutive home Test series victory. (More Sports News)

The home Test is just one of various exciting sports duels lined up. The week ahead of us - Monday, February 26 to Sunday, March 3 - promises enough and more on-field action to keep enthusiasts hooked. Buckle up, and check out what's coming your way from various arenas.



India need 152 more runs to win the fourth Test against England at the JSCA International Stadium, which means the match is likely to see a result on Monday (Feb 26) itself. The hosts have all 10 wickets in tact, and the opening pair of Rohit Sharma-Yashasvi Jaiswal at the crease. One would fancy them to chase down the target, but the English spinners could have other ideas on a wearing fourth-day pitch.

In the Ranji Trophy, Tamil Nadu have beaten defending champions Saurashtra by an innings and 33 runs in Coimbatore to waltz into the semi-finals. But the three other quarter-finals are still underway and will resume Day 4 action on Monday. Vidarbha lead by 224 runs against Karnataka in Nagpur, Mumbai are ahead by 57 runs against Baroda at home and Andhra need 57 more runs to vanquish Madhya Pradesh in Indore.


Back in international action, Afghanistan and Ireland are in the United Arab Emirates for a three-week tour, which begins with a one-off Test at the Tolerance Oval in Abu Dhabi, starting Wednesday (Feb 28). Down Under, after Mitchell Marsh's team swept the T20I series 3-0, the first New Zealand vs Australia Test begins in Wellington early on Thursday (Feb 29).

In the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup League 2, the focus shifts to Dubai, where UAE, Canada and Scotland will be locked in a 50-over tri-series. UAE take on Canada on Wednesday, followed by Canada meeting Scotland on Friday and UAE facing Scotland on Sunday.

In T20 franchise cricket, the Women's Premier League will witness an evening clash (7:30pm IST) on each day of the week, with all five teams - Mumbai Indians, Delhi Capitals, Royal Challengers Bangalore, UP Wariorz and Gujarat Giants - in action. If the first two matches are any indication, we are in for a thrill-a-minute ride.

Meanwhile, the Bangladesh Premier League enters its home stretch with the Eliminator slated on Monday between Fortune Barishal and Chattogram Challengers. The Qualifier 1 follows, between Rangpur Riders and Comilla Victorians, on the same evening. The Eliminator 2 will be played on Wednesday, and the final on Friday. The Pakistan Super League's 2024 season will enter its second week, with games scheduled on all days but Friday.



The English Premier League's 2023-24 season is into its final third, so to speak, with week 27 of 38 coming up. Second-placed Manchester City will host Manchester United at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday, in a renewal of the familiar local-yet-global rivalry. United are languishing in the sixth spot and in the middle of another difficult season.

In La Liga, Real Madrid will first face off with Sevilla early Monday morning (1:30am IST), and then take on Valencia on Sunday. Atletico Madrid will lock horns with Real Betis on Sunday, and Athletic Club will meet Barcelona later on the same night.


In Copa del Rey, the return leg of the semi-finals will be played. Athletic Club will tussle with Atletico Madrid on Friday, and Real Sociedad will be up against Mallorca on Wednesday.

The Indian Super League is nearing its business end, and has key match-ups slated all through the week, including a Mumbai City vs Goa clash at the Mumbai Football Arena and Bengaluru up against the Kerala Blasters at the Sree Kanteerava Outdoor Stadium.

Meanwhile, the four-nation Turkish Women's Cup will draw to a close on Tuesday, with India taking on Kosovo in their third and final game. Both teams are unbeaten so far and one can anticipate an engrossing duel.


Other Sports

In tennis, the men's competition of the Dubai Tennis Championships will kick off on Monday, and so will the Mexican Open. In badminton, the fight for Paris Olympics qualification will continue with the German Open qualifiers beginning on Tuesday. The World Indoor Athletics Championships will be held from Friday to Sunday, with many of the top global track-and-field stars expected to be in contention.