Sri Lanka cricket team to return to Pakistan for three short-form matches

Updated 22 August 2019

Sri Lanka cricket team to return to Pakistan for three short-form matches

  • No dates were announced, but the minister said the games would be scheduled for later this year
  • In October 2017, Sri Lanka played a T20 match in Lahore for the first time since a 2009 terror attack

COLOMBO: Sri Lanka will return to Pakistan after a nearly two-year absence for three short-form cricket games later this year, the sports minister said Thursday.
“We are not in a position to send the team to Pakistan to play the two Tests, but we will be in Pakistan for about eight days to play the ODIs or the T20 matches,” Harin Fernando told reporters in Colombo.
No dates were announced, but the minister said the games would be scheduled for later this year.
Citing safety fears, Fernando said two Tests could instead be played in the UAE, where Pakistan has held many of its home series.
International teams have stayed away from Pakistan over security concerns.
In October 2017, Sri Lanka played a T20 match in Lahore for the first time since a terror attack near the same venue in March 2009.
That attack left eight people dead and seven Sri Lanka players and staff injured.


Russian athletics champ blasts own sports authorities

Updated 11 December 2019

Russian athletics champ blasts own sports authorities

  • Lasitskene, a three-time world champion, has in the past been critical of Russia’s athletics federation

MOSCOW: Russian high jump world champion Maria Lasitskene on Tuesday accused her country’s own sports authorities of failing to protect athletes from the deepening doping crisis, in a rare public broadside at top officials.

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) on Monday handed Russia a new, this time four-year, ban from top global sporting events, including the next summer and winter Olympics and the 2022 soccer World Cup, for tampering with laboratory data.

The ruling means Russian athletes cleared to compete at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics will do so under a neutral flag. But Lasitskene and some other Russian track and field athletes face additional obstacles to being cleared for competition.

“I’ve already missed one Olympics and one-and-a-half years of international competition,” Lasitskene wrote in an open letter addressed to Russia’s sports authorities.

“And it seems that’s not the end of it. So who ultimately is to blame? Who’s going to give me back what I’ve lost?” she wrote in the letter published on Russian sports media outlet Championat.Com.

Lasitskene, a three-time world champion, has in the past been critical of Russia’s athletics federation, which has been suspended for doping since 2015, and has been one of the few Russian athletes to voice her anger publicly.

World Athletics, the global body governing athletics, last month halted the reinstatement procedures for Russia’s athletics federation after its president and six others were provisionally suspended for serious breaches of anti-doping rules.

As a result of these fresh sanctions, World Athletics also said it was reviewing the process it has used in the past to clear some Russians, including Lasitskene, to compete internationally as neutrals.

“Why have we arrived at a situation when an athlete is supposed to be delighted about getting neutral status?” Lasitskene wrote.

“Was the Sports Ministry and Russian Olympic Committee really happy with the Russian athletics federation’s work?”

The president of Russia’s Olympic Committee, Stanislav Pozdnyakov, on Monday dismissed the sanctions against Russia as inappropriate and excessive.