The sporting year ahead
The sporting year has got off to a great start with some thrilling FA Cup shocks and Andy Murray reaching the final of the Australian Open. I wonder what the rest of 2015 will bring? Let me mark your card so you don’t miss any of the thrilling action.
The ICC Cricket World Cup takes place in Australia and New Zealand (February 14 – March 29) and such has been England’s one day form we may actually be in for a pleasant surprise for once under new skipper Eoin Morgan!
The Champions League last 16 ties get under way from February 17-18 and there will be more knock-out competition with FA Cup Fifth Round and Quarter Final ties on February 14-15 and March 7-8 respectively. The Capital One final between Chelsea and Spurs takes place on March 1.
I’m eagerly anticipating the Six Nations (February 6 – March 21), made all the more important as it’s a World Cup year, too (more of that later). Can England get their full-strength first XV out on to the pitch?
Lewis Hamilton will begin the defence of his Formula One world title at the Australian Grand Prix on March 15 and we go racing at Cheltenham for the Gold Cup on March 10-13 and at Aintree for the Grand National on April 11, betting slips (and pin!) at the ready.
All eyes in the world of golf will be on Augusta for the US Masters from April 9-12, the first Open of the year. Snooker’s big moment in the spotlight will come with the World Championship at The Crucible in Sheffield from April 18 to May 4.
Elite, club and charity runners will line up for the London Marathon on April 26 while athletics’ Diamond League begins on May 15 in Doha. It’s a big year for those dreaming of Olympic glory in Rio in 2016 with the World Championships in Beijing from August 20-30.
The Premier League reaches its climax on May 24 (will Leicester City survive?) and a team – not mine – will lift the FA Cup on May 30. Another team – maybe mine?! – will win the Champions League in Berlin on June 6.
In rugby will anyone be able to stop Toulon winning a third European title on the trot by the time the Champions Cup final comes around on May 2? And will Leicester Tigers reach the Premiership final at Twickenham on May 30?
In tennis, will 2015 be Murray’s year? It will be strawberries and Pimms all the way in SW19 from June 29 to July 12 for the All England Championships at Wimbledon.
For me the summer will all be about the Ashes (First Test July 8-12) but the Tour de France (July 4-26), The Open at St Andrews (July 16-19) and the British Grand Prix at Silverstone (July 5) may be welcome distractions depending on how England perform out in the middle!
The most exciting sporting event of 2015, though, promises to be the Rugby World Cup which will lead the sports news bulletins for six weeks from September 18 to October 31. New Zealand will start as favourites but England can win if they believe and make home advantage count.
I wonder how will your sporting year will turn out? Whatever your goals, remember we’re here to help and, one thing is for certain, you’ll always be able to get the latest scores!