At the arrival of a new decade, it seemed sensible to the Oxford Student to cast our eyes towards the sporting treats awaiting us in the upcoming year. Here is your definitive (-ish) top ten sporting events to be aware of in 2020:
Rugby League Ashes, 31 October – 14 November
Not seen since 2003, the reprisal of England’s rivalry with Australia will return this winter as England look to reclaim the trophy for the first time in half a century.
Men’s Twenty20 World Cup, 18 October – 15 November
After England’s remarkable white-ball transformation culminated in THAT World Cup win over New Zealand last summer, can they fight off fierce competition from India and Australia among others to secure back-to-back international trophies?
Champions League final, 30 May
Istanbul plays host to this year’s showpiece event in European football and will evoke fond memories of defending champions Liverpool’s extraordinary comeback at the same venue in 2005.
The Grand National, 4 April
The intriguing storyline at Aintree this spring will undoubtedly be Tiger Roll’s bid to enter the history books as a three-time National winner, a feat only achieved by the legendary Red Rum in the 180 year history of the race.
Six Nations, 1 February – 14 March
International rugby enters a new era in 2020 after the departure of three remarkably successful coaches; Steve Hansen of the All Blacks, Ireland’s Joe Schmidt and Wales’ favourite son Warren Gatland. England will pit themselves against the northern hemisphere’s best attempting to put their Springbok-induced World Cup heartbreak behind them.
Ryder Cup, 25–27 September
12 of Europe’s best golfers will head across the pond to Wisconsin this summer to try and claim their first away victory since the famous Miracle at Medinah in 2012. Up against them will be a powerful American team likely to include a resurgent Tiger Woods and current World No.1 Brooks Koepka.
Formula One world championship, 15 March – 29 November
Lewis Hamilton’s recent domination on the racetrack has led to inevitable comparisons with Michael Schumacher’s remarkable success with Ferrari in the early noughties. Another driver’s championship victory for Hamilton would put him alongside the German with seven titles – it would take a brave man to bet against the Stevenage-born speedster.
The Hundred, 17 July – 15 August
The controversial introduction of a fourth cricketing format by the ECB has done nothing to appease purists across the UK, but the Hundred still promises a proliferation of high-quality domestic and international talent. Among those earmarked for lengthy international careers are Welsh Fire’s explosive young opener Tom Banton and Manchester Originals pace bowler Saqib Mahmood, while overseas stars involved in the tournament include world-class Australians David Warner and Mitchell Starc.
Euro 2020, 12 June – 12 July
Gareth Southgate will certainly be hoping to build on England’s promising World Cup and will again likely put his faith in youngsters such as Marcus Rashford and Jadon Sancho, although if talisman Harry Kane is ruled out through injury, fighting off perennial contenders Germany, Spain and France will be extremely difficult. Expect Belgium’s golden generation to be in the mix, as well as the resurgent Dutch and Italian outfits.
Tokyo Olympics, 24 July – 9 August
The Olympic Games are still unequivocally the greatest event on the sporting calendar, and this year’s edition in Japan is likely to be as unforgettable as any that have come before. Home-grown talents Dina Asher-Smith and Katarina Johnson-Thompson will look to compete for medals on the track, while household international names such as Simone Biles and Katie Ledecky will once again look to cement their world-leading status. One potential breakout star to keep an eye on is American swimmer and Caeleb Dressel, who won an incredible 8 world championship golds last summer amidst comparisons with legendary Olympian Michael Phelps.