Badminton ace Saina Nehwal made history this year
Sport across the globe can inspire, excite and entertain us.
In what was a very memorable year for sport, DESIblitz has rounded up all of the highlights of the 2015 calendar.
From heroic efforts by athletes, euphoric moments for fans, to one of the biggest scandals in sporting history.
12. Younis Khan breaks 22 year old record of Javed Minded for most runs by a Pakistani in test cricket
37 year-old Younis Khan became Pakistan’s leading run scorer in Test history after eclipsing Javed Miandad’s tally of 8832 in October 2015.
Khan required 19 runs heading into the test against England in Abu Dhabi and hit 38 before being caught out.
Even though the batsmen can be content with this milestone he already has his sights set on being the 12th man to enter the 10,000 run club.
The Pakistan talisman is in his twilight years now but you wouldn’t bet against him achieving his goal.
11. India’s first test victory on Sri Lankan soil in 22 years
In September a new look India Cricket team won a test series in Sri Lanka for the first time in 22 years; it was also their first test victory on foreign soil since 2011 against the West Indies.
India had amassed a target of 386 runs for the Sri Lankans to chase in the final game of the series but the home side could only amount 268.
The pivotal moment was when Sri Lanka’s Kusal Perera was dismissed for 70; the match only lasted eight overs following his departure.
10. Lewis Hamilton winning F1 title
Lewis Hamilton became the 10th driver in the history of Formula 1 to win three or more championships and the first British driver to win the title in consecutive years.
At the end of the race calendar Hamilton won the championship with three races to spare.
It is another fantastic achievement for the Brit who has truly cemented himself as one of the F1 greats.
9. Jordan Spieth wins double major
Jordan Spieth became the youngest player to win two majors in 93 years, the youngest to win five times in a season since Horton Smith (age 21) in 1929, and he returned to number 1 in the golf rankings.
The 22 year-old’s 2014-2015 PGA Tour season total came to a whopping $22,030,465 which broke Tiger Wood’s record of $20,867,052 earned back in 2007.
It was certainly Spieth’s year and there are a plethora of moments that earn him a place on this list so take your pick.
8. Saina Nehwal first Indian to become world number 1
Badminton ace Saina Nehwal made history as she became the first Indian woman to attain the world number one ranking in her sport on March 28, 2015.
The Olympic Bronze Medallist thought of quitting badminton after 2014’s world championships because she was consistently losing to the top players and many critics did not foresee this resurgence.
However, a win at the China Open and reaching the All England final saw Nehwal rise to the pinnacle of women’s badminton.
7. Sania Mirza is Number 1 WTA Doubles Ranking, Wimbledon and US Open Doubles Champion
Fellow racqueteer Sania Mirza achieved similar feats in the realm of Tennis.
The doubles player partnered up with Swiss legend Martina Hingis and, together the pair won slew of titles but the most prevalent were the wins at Wimbledon and the US open.
They defeated Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina 5–7, 7–6(7–4), 7–5 in the final at Wimbledon and beat Casey Dellacqua and Yaroslava Shvedova 6–3 6–3 in the finals at Flushing Meadows.
The pair ended the year with a 22 match winning streak and secured the world number 1 ranking.
6. Conor McGregor vs Jose Aldo
Conor McGregor knocked out Jose Aldo in 13 seconds to become the undisputed featherweight champion at UFC 194.
McGregor had only been a UFC competitor for two years whilst his opponent had been in the game for six and had never previously lost a bout.
A dodge and left hit to the jaw by McGregor saw the Brazilian drop to the mat forcing the referee to quickly end proceedings; short but oh so sweet.
5. Afghanistan become the first associate side to beat a full test playing nation (Zimbabwe) in a bilateral ODI series
In October, Afghanistan beat Zimbabwe. This was the first time an associate side had defeated a full test playing nation in a bilateral ODI series; consider that Afghanistan is a war-torn country playing against a full member team.
The five-game test series was perfects poised at two all heading into the decider being played in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe.
The Afghans defended a total of 245 to seal the ODI series 3-2; the win is a testament to Afghanistan’s sharp rise in world cricket.
4. FC Barca treble
FC Barcelona achieved the eighth ‘treble’ of European Cup plus domestic league and cup; the first club to achieve the historic feat twice.
Under coach Luis Enrique, the team won La Liga with a game in hand, condemned Athletic Bilbao to yet another cup final and found glory in the Champions League against Juventus who were also en route for a treble.
This Barcelona side were simply on another planet in 2015.
3. Usain Bolt vs Justin Gatlin
Good vs Evil couldn’t have been portrayed any better back in August as Usain Bolt faced Justin Gatlin in the 100m and 200m finals in Shanghai.
Usain Bolt, a bastion of the natural athlete and proof that humans can still achieve phenomenal accomplishments versus Justin Gatlin, a two time drug cheat and the athletics equivalent of Darth Vader.
Thankfully, Bolt won both events and was rewarded by having a cameraman on a giant Segway run him over on his lap of honour.
It was vital for athletics that Bolt came in 1st in these events or the legitimacy of the sport would have been threatened.
2. Great Britain wins the Davis cup after 79 years
Although Andy Murray has insisted that GB was not a one man team, it was a Herculean effort by the world number two that saw the team through to victory whether he’ll admit it or not.
Despite Jamie Murray and James Ward making their contributions to the points tally, Murray joined John McEnroe and Mats Wilander as the only men to have an 8-0 singles record in a Davis Cup year.
The remarkable thing about achieving these wins is that the Davis cup is played over the course of a Tennis year and all players suffer dips in form; to be this consistent is extraordinary.
1. Sepp Blatter resigning from FIFA
The greatest moment of 2015 was unquestionably when Sepp Blatter finally resigned as the head of FIFA.
At last, after 17 years of corruption, bribes and underhanded deals, sneaky Sepp will finally get his comeuppance.
However, perhaps the most memorable moment of the saga was when Lee Nelson snuck into a FIFA press conference and threw a wad of fake cash in the air before being escorted out of the room by security.
Blatter is now facing a lifelong ban from football along with UEFA president Michel Platini; let’s hope the footballing gods see this one through.
Overall, it’s been a very eventful year for sport with some truly superhuman performances along with good versus evil battles, and some compelling corruption drama.
May 2016 bring us just as many memorable sporting moments.