Global sports round-up

Pakistan Cricket Board buying bulletproof buses

KARACHI – Pakistani cricket chiefs on Wednesday approved the purchase of bulletproof buses as part of efforts to persuade foreign teams to return after a long suspension over security fears.

No international team has played in Pakistan since the March 2009 attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team bus in Lahore, which left eight people dead and seven visiting players wounded. But the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) hopes internationals could be revived as early as next year following the successful staging of two exhibition matches in Karachi involving an International World XI in Karachi at the weekend.

The PCB governing board met in Abbottabad – the garrison town north of Islamabad where Osama bin Laden was killed in a US raid last year – to agree to buy the armoured transport.

Mathews new T20 captain for Sri Lanka

COLOMBO – Angelo Mathews has been appointed Sri Lanka’s Twenty20 captain for a period of one year starting with the Twenty20 against New Zealand at Pallekele on October 30. The 25-year-old allrounder succeeds Mahela Jayawardene, who quit the Twenty20 captaincy after the World Twenty20 final.

“We are giving Mathews a free hand to captain the T20 side for one year, after which we will review his performance,” chief selector Ashantha de Mel said.

Mathews has been vice-captain since July last year, and is the most obvious candidate to be Sri Lanka’s next captain in all forms. His elevation to the T20 captaincy is an indication that he remains the frontrunner for the Test and ODI captaincy.

The selectors may also have to name a new Test and ODI captain as early as February next year, with Jayawardene set to reassess his role as captain after Sri Lanka’s tour of Australia.

Contador: Lance Armstrong being lynched

PARIS – Spaniard Alberto Contador expressed support today for disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong saying the American was being “humiliated and lynched” by doping accusations which have led to the stripping of his seven Tour de France titles.

“It seems to me that at certain times and in certain places Lance is not being treated with any respect,” Contador, a double Tour champion who returned from a two-year doping ban in August, told reporters in Paris at the presentation of the 2013 edition of the race.

“He is being humiliated and lynched, in my opinion. He is being destroyed,” the Saxo Bank-Tinkoff rider, who had a difficult relationship with Armstrong when they were team-mates at Astana, said.

“Right now people are talking about Lance but there has not been any new test or anything,” Contador added. “It’s based exclusively on witness statements that could have existed in 2005.

“I respect each rider’s decision but I would have liked it to happen a bit earlier.”

“What there is (in terms of evidence) I don’t know, what I do know is that if cycling is popular in the United States it’s thanks to him,” Contador said.

Contador added the current testing regime was adequate as a means of preventing illegal doping,

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