March 2021 features a number of high profile sporting events, the biggest perhaps being sailing’s America’s Cup on the waters of the Hauraki Gulf in Auckland.
England cricket’s so far dramatic tour of India continues and the final 2 rounds of the Six Nations are to be played, with Wales currently in pole position. Three of golf’s biggest events outside of the majors are being held in the USA, along with prestigious horse racing meetings at Cheltenham and Dubai. There will also be plenty of football on offer this month – the UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League both reach its Round of 16 stage, the FA Cup quarter-finals are being played and the first 3 matchdays of the European qualifiers for the 2022 FIFA World Cup take place.
The effects of the Covid-19 pandemic are still being felt however with the Indian Wells tennis event postponed and Formula’s One usual curtain raiser in Australia pushed back to November. There is still plenty to look forward to though as the Miami Open will still be going ahead and the Formula One will instead begin in Bahrain.
Further details on each of the highlighted events, such as travel and ticket information is available by clicking below.
4th-8th March 2021 – 4th Test (Sardar Patel Stadium, Ahmedabad)
12th, 14th, 16th, 18th & 20th March 2021 – Twenty20 Series (Sardar Patel Stadium, Ahmedabad)
23rd, 26th & 28th March 2021 – One Day International Series (Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium, Pune)
England’s first tour of India since 2016 continues after what has already been a dramatic start. India lead the test series 2-1 after being outplayed in the first test, before crushing the tourists in the second and third tests. The teams will play a deciding test starting on the 4th March in Chennai, followed by 5 match Twenty20 series all at the largest cricket stadium in the world, the Sardar Patel Stadium and a 3 match ODI series at the Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium in Pune.
4th-7th March 2021 – Bay Hill Club and Lodge (Bay Hill, Florida, USA)
The 120 field at the 2021 Arnold Palmer Invitational will feature 12 of the world’s Top 25 including defending champion Tyrrell Hatton, Rory McIlroy, Bryson DeChambeau, Patrick Reed as well as Rickie Fowler and Jordan Speith.
The prestigious America’s Cup sailing event will take place between the 6th and 15th March, with Emirates Team New Zealand seeking to defend the America’s Cup on home waters in Auckland as they are challenged by Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli of Italy. The Italian team earned their place by defeating Ben Ainslie’s Ineos Team UK in the Final of last month’s Prada Cup.
9th, 10th, 16th & 17th March 2021 (Second Legs)
The second leg of UEFA Champions League Round of 16 take place across two weeks in March, with a number of the ties still finely balanced despite none of the first legs finishing in a draw. The biggest surprise of the first round of matches was undoubtedly Paris Saint-Germain’s 4-1 demolition of Barcelona away at the Nou Camp. However the 6-1 turnaround Barcelona accomplished at the same stage 4 years ago will still be playing on PSG’s mind going into the second leg.
11th-14th March 2021 – TPC Sawgrass (Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, USA)
With the 2020 tournament cancelled after one day’s play in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, March will see a return to The Players Championship at TPC Sawgrass. Defending champion from 2019 Rory McIlroy will return and will be joined by top players such as Jon Rahm, Tyrrell Hatton and Viktor Hovland.
11th March 2021 (First Legs)
18th March 2021 (Second Legs)
With the 2020/2021 UEFA Europa League reaching the Round of 16, teams left in the competition include European giants such as AFC Ajax, Arsenal, Roma and Tottenham Hotspur. The highlight of the round however is undoubtedly the tie between Manchester United and AC Milan, with the teams facing off at Old Trafford on Thursday 11th before the return leg at the San Siro a week later.
Round 4 – 13th-14th March 2021
Round 5 – 20th March 2021
Wales are the leaders going into the final 2 rounds of fixtures in the 2021 Six Nations, winning all three of their fixtures and securing the Triple Crown. Both England and Ireland have made disappointing starts, whilst France and Scotland are still to play their third round fixture after it was postponed due to Covid-19 cases amongst the French squad.
16th-19th March 2021 – Cheltenham Racecourse (Cheltenham, England)
The Cheltenham Festival was one of the last large scale events held in the UK before Covid-19 restrictions came into force, with over 250,000 attending. The 2021 event will be held behind closed doors but the famed jump meeting will still feature the regular highlights over the 4 days including the Champion Hurdle (16th), Queen Mother Champion Chase (17th), Festival Trophy (18th) and Cheltenham Gold Cup (19th).
2020/2021 FA Cup Quarter-Final (Football)
20th-21st March 2021
The FA Cup reaches its last 8 stage, with just one team left in the competition from outside of the Premier League. On Saturday 20th, EFL Championship side AFC Bournemouth will host south coast rivals Southampton, before Everton are at home to Manchester City. On Sunday 21st, Chelsea will host Sheffield United whilst Manchester United are away to Leicester City.
22nd March – 4th April 2021 – Hard Rock Stadium (Miami, Florida, USA)
With a date currently not set for Indian Wells, there will be no ‘Sunshine Double’ this year. However the Miami Open is still set to go ahead albeit not on the stadium court within the Hard Rock Stadium this year. The event is set to feature many of the world’s top players with Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, Serena Williams, Naomi Osaka and Ashleigh Barty amongst those on the published acceptance list.
24th-28th March 2021 – Austin Country Club (Austin, Texas, USA)
The unique World Golf Championship Match Play event returns after being cancelled in 2020. Top players including Jordan Speith, Sergio Garcia, Bryson DeChambeau and Scottie Scheffler to play the match play format across five days in Texas.
2022 FIFA World Cup European Qualifiers (Football)
24th-25th March 2021 (Matchday 1)
27th-28th March 2021 (Matchday 2)
30th-31st March 2021 (Matchday 3)
The European qualification for the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar will get underway this month, with 3 matchdays to be played in just a week after the dates originally proposed for June were moved to accommodate the delayed UEFA Euro 2020. Highlights include France v Ukraine (24th), Belgium v Wales (24th), Germany v Iceland (25th), Norway v Turkey (27th), Serbia v Portugal (27th) and England v Poland (31st).
26th-28th March 2021 – Bahrain International Circuit (Sakhir, Bahrain)
Bahrain will host the opening weekend of the 2021 Formula One season, after the Australian Grand Prix was pushed back to November due to Covid-19 restrictions. There have been several driver changes in the off-season, however the reigning champion, Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton will be returning to a race he won last year. The 2020 race will however be remembered as one of the most dramatic in recent memory, with the race suspended for over an hour after Haas’ Romain Grosjean was involved in a serious accident which resulted in his car splitting in two and bursting into flames.
One of the world’s richest and most prestigious horse races, the Dubai World Cup returns after being cancelled in 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The climax to the World Cup Carnival will have a purse of $12 million.