Yearender 2020: Dean Jones, Kobe Bryant, Diego Maradona, Sporting legends who passed away this year

From Maradona to Kobe Bryant, go through the list of sporting personalities who passed away in 2020 leaving millions of grieving fans behind. 

Dec 28, 2020 19:47 ISTModified On: Dec 28, 2020 19:47 IST
Death of sports personalities in 2020

The year 2020 lost legendary sporting personalities which shocked the fans all over the world. In the field of football, where fans lost their beloved Maradona, the sudden death of the legendary American basketball player Kobe Bryant in January 2020 sent shockwaves all over the world.

From Dean Jones to Balbir Singh Sr., here is a list of sporting personalities who passed away this year and left their mark with untouchable records. 

Football legend Diego Maradona’s death shocks the world

The death of football legend Diego Maradona on November 25, 2020, shocked the world. He passed away after suffering cardiac arrest at the age of 60.

The greatest player ever to play football began his professional career at the age of 16 with Argentinos Junior. Maradona was also considered as the main player in taking Argentina to its second world cup title in 1986.

Maradona played his first World Cup Tournament in Spain in 1982. Under his captaincy in the 1986 World Cup in Mexico, the Argentine National Team won the finals against West Germany.

The famous ‘Hand of God’ moment also came in the same tournament where he scored a goal during the quarter-finals match between England and Argentina.

In the world cup in the United States in 1994, Maradona played only two matches. He scored one goal against Greece before being sent home after he failed a drug test.

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Death of basketball player Kobe Bryant in a helicopter crash

The renowned American Basketball player Kobe Bryant was killed in a helicopter crash on January 26, 2020. Gianna Maria, Kobe’s 13 years old daughter who was traveling with him also died in the accident.

Bryant spent his 20 years of career with the Los Angeles Lakers in NBA- National Basketball Association and is regarded as one of the greatest basketball players of all time.

Kobe Bryant was a five-time National Basketball Association champion (2000, 2001, 2002, 2009, 2010) and was also announced as one of the most valuable players of the NBA in 2008.

He won the gold medal with the USA team in the 2008 and 2012 Olympics.

Kobe Bryant is most remembered for the 2006 basketball match where he made a record by scoring 81 points against Toronto raptors.

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Balbir Singh Kullar, an Indian Hockey player, passed away at 77

Balbir Singh Kullar, a former Indian hockey player and Olympic bronze medalist passed away at the age of 77 on February 28, 2020. He suffered cardiac arrest at his residence in Punjab.

Balbir Singh Kullar was born in Punjab on August 8, 1942, he made his international debut in the national hockey team of India in 1963 in France.

Kullar was part of the Indian hockey team that won the Asian Games Gold in 1966 in Bangkok and the Olympic bronze medal in 1968 in Mexico.

During his tenure, Kullar toured several nations including West Germany, Netherlands, England, Belgium, and New Zealand, and also later served as the national team selector of the Indian Hockey Team.

Kullar for his contribution in hockey was awarded Padma Shri in 2009, the fourth highest civilian honor, and with Arjuna Award in 1999 for his outstanding achievement in Hockey.

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Co-inventor of the famous Duckworth-Lewis method, Tony Lewis dies at 78

The co-inventor of the Duckworth-Lewis method used in cricket, Tony Lewis passed away on March 15, 2020, at the age of 78.

Tony Lewis was a mathematician and a university professor who along with Frank Duckworth had come up with the Duckworth-Lewis method for settling weather-affected cricket matches.

The formula given by them was first used in a match between England and Zimbabwe in 1997. It was later officially adopted by the International Cricket Council in 1999.

Duckworth-Lewis is a mathematical calculation that has been designed to calculate the second batting team target score in a limited-overs cricket match that has been interrupted by rain or any other circumstances.

Both Duckworth and Lewis for their extraordinary services to Mathematics and cricket were awarded the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire- MBEs in 2010.

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Hockey legend Balbir Singh Sr. passes away

Three times Olympic medal-winning hockey legend, Balbir Singh Sr. passed away on May 25, 2020, due to multiple health issues at the age of 96.

The iconic center-forward, Balbir Singh Sr. was India’s most accomplished athletes and was the only Indian among the 16 legends chosen by the International Olympic Committee across the modern Olympic history.

Balbir Singh Sr. was the three-times Olympic gold champion and his record of scoring most goals by an individual in the Olympics men’s hockey finals still remains unbeaten.

He won three gold medals in 1948 in London, in 1952 in Helsinki, and in 1956 in Melbourne. Balbir Singh is still remembered for scoring five goals in India’s 6-1 victory over the Netherlands in the Helsinki games in 1952.

In 1957, he was conferred with Padma Shri Award for his contributions and achievements in the field.

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Former cricketer, UP minister Chetan Chauhan, passes away due to COVID-19

The former cricketer and Uttar Pradesh Minister Chetan Chauhan passed away at the age of 73 due to COVID-19 on August 16, 2020. He was admitted to the Medanta Hospital in Gurgaon.

He was the MLA from Naugawan Sadat Constituency in Amroha and was the minister of Sainik welfare, home guards, PRD, and civil security.

Chetan Chauhan was the former Indian cricketer who played 40 test matches for India and also played Ranji Trophy for Delhi and Maharashtra.

In 1970, Chetan Chauhan was the regular opening partner of Sunil Gavaskar and played most of his international cricket.

He retired from both test and ODI matches in 1981.

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Legendary Australian cricketer, commentator Dean Jones passes away

Dean Jones, the former legendary batsman from Australia passed away on September 24, 2020, at the age of 59. He suffered from cardiac arrest.

He was part of the Star Sports commentary team and was also one the greatest ambassador of the game who was associated with the development of cricket in South Asia.

Dean Jones became famous for playing in an aggressive manner for the Australian team from 1980-1990.

Jones’s most notable innings was in his 3rd test against India in Madras in 1986 in which he went on to score 210 runs which still remains the highest score by an Australian cricketer in India.

From the late 1980s to the early 1990s, he was regarded as the best ODI batsman in the world. In 2019, Dean Jones was inducted into the Australian Cricket Hall of Fame.

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Shripati Khanchanale, winner of prestigious Hind Kesari passed away at 86

Renowned wrestler, Shripati Khanchanale who won the prestigious title ‘Hind Kesari’ in 1959 passed away on December 14, 2020, at the age of 86.

He won the title after defeating the wrestler Rustam-e-Punjab Battasingh. Shripati’s love for wrestling and bodybuilding started from a very early age.

His match with Battasingh was a huge hit which led him to nationwide recognition.

Khanchanale was trained at a famous Shahupuri Training Centre in Kolhapur which is also the most renowned place for Kushti training in Maharashtra.

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Charulata Patel, a superfan of the Indian cricket team passed away at 87

Charulata Patel who gained popularity as the superfan of the Indian Cricket team passed away at the age of 87 on January 13, 2020.

She was seen at the England stadium during the 2019 World Cup and had gained attention worldwide when Indian skipper Virat Kohli took her blessings after the match. The pictures went viral on social media, calling her the superfan of the Indian team.

Charulata Patel was also at the stadium for the India Sri Lanka match in the world cup. The Captain of the Indian Cricket team Virat Kohli had also promised her the ticket for India’s match against Bangladesh.

Both Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma came for her blessings after the match against Bangladesh.

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