World sport might still be at the mercy of the coronavirus pandemic, but Thursday still has a solid offering of events.
Regional matches in Brazil are in something of a limbo as authorities decide whether or not to press ahead with games, but the top tier in Belarus gets underway.
It is also a big day for Australia, with the NRL resuming and the 2020 AFL campaign kicking off in Melbourne, albeit both will be behind closed doors.
There is also some golf, where Sweden’s Anna Nordqvist is the quality act in the field.
Energetik-BGU v BATE – Belarusian Premier League
Probably Belarus’ most recognisable club, BATE saw a 13-year title-winning streak ended by Dynamo Brest in 2019.
Kirill Alshevsky, now in charge after stepping up from the reserves, will be keen to start 2020 in commanding fashion against a side they beat twice last season.
— AFL (@AFL) March 18, 2020
Richmond Tigers v Carlton Blues – AFL
Aussie Rules football gets underway at the MCG on Thursday, where fans will not be allowed in to watch due to restrictions on mass gatherings of more than 100 people.
The season begins with 2019 champions Richmond Tigers taking on the Carlton Blues.
Bulldogs v Cowboys – NRL
The second round of the NRL begins with the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs facing the North Queensland Cowboys. Both sides are looking for their first points of the new season.
As with the AFL, the competition will be proceeding behind closed doors due to government measures against coronavirus.
— NRL (@NRL) March 17, 2020
Cactus Open – Golf
Much of golf might be shelved for the time being, but the Cactus Open – a feeder tour for professionals in the women’s game – gets underway
Anna Nordqvist impressed in a traditionally all-male Moon Valley Classic last week, hitting a bogey-free round of 64, and she is the firm favourite.
Pamplemousses v Petite Riviere Noire – Mauritian Premier League
Reigning champions Pamplemousses have not enjoyed the best season, winning only four of 12 league games, but a win on Thursday will move them above Petite Riviere Noire and into fifth.