The 70th edition of the Cannes Film Festival kicked off, with American director Todd Haynes’ Wonderstruck already making waves in the first few days (Carol was his last film premiered at the festival). In India, two Hindi films about desi male protagonists who can’t speak English released simultaneously: Mohit Suri’s Half Girlfriend and Saket Chaudhary’s Hindi Medium. Also out in cinemas here is The Lunchbox director, Ritesh Batra’s second film, The Sense of an Ending, based on Julian Barnes’ 2010 Man Booker prize-winning novel.
The Final Countdown
Defending champions Sunrisers Hyderabad got knocked out by Kolkata Knight Riders in a rain-curtailed game on Wednesday night. The Knight Riders will now take on bogey team and group-stage favourites Mumbai Indians at Bangalore in the second qualifier on Friday night. The winner will play the Rising Pune Supergiant in the final – a team that is in its second and last season of the tournament. Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals are set to return next year.
Could there be NO defending champions in the eleventh edition in 2018? Stranger things have happened in cricketing history. Karun Nair became only the second Indian batsman ever to score a Test Triple century and was later dropped.
In other cricket news, KKR batsman Manish Pandey was ruled out of the tournament and India’s Champions Trophy after sustaining a thigh injury during training for the qualifier. Dinesh Karthik, who has been in sparkling domestic form, and played a good hand for the Gujarat Lions this season, will replace him in England.
A Rivalry For The Ages
Speaking about there being no defending champion, the 2017 F1 season is becoming a timeless battle between two ex-champions who have won seven Drivers’ titles between them. The fans got what they wanted last weekend. In an epic Spanish Grand Prix – the fifth race of the season – Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton and Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel locked horns more than once. The British driver edged the German by a few seconds in the end. Hamilton overtook Vettel on lap 44 after a fascinating pit-stop battle, and made good on his pole position by winning his second race this year and 56th of his ten-year career. He is now only six points behind Vettel in the standings.\
Back To The Top
Chelsea became English Premier League champions for the fifth time under the Roman Abramovich reign after finishing a disastrous tenth last year under Jose Mourinho. Their scrappy 0-1 win at West Bromwich Albion propelled them to their sixth title overall, after which they came home to Stamford Bridge earlier this week to win a 4-3 thriller. Former Italy manager Antonio Conte won his first title with an EPL club in his first season there in addition to his three Serie A titles with Juventus.
Manchester United, who will finish sixth in the league under Mourinho, have now pinned all their hopes on the Europa final against Ajax next Wednesday at Stockholm. If they win this final, they will automatically qualify for the Champions League next year, despite not finishing in the top 4 of the Premier League.
The Zidane Era
Real Madrid are now one point away from their first La Liga title since 2012. It will also be their first under Coach Zinedine Zidane, who already has a Champions League title to his name. If they draw or win against Malaga on the weekend, they will displace Barcelona as Champions, despite losing to them in the El Clasico at the Bernabau two weeks ago. They will also face Juventus two weeks from now, at Cardiff in the all-important Champions League final – hoping to become the first European team ever to defend their title successfully. This is their third final in the last four years, after they didn’t reach the final even once between 2002 and 2014.