Left field

The Reuters global sports blog

Passionate crowds key to sport

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This week’s attack on the Sri Lanka cricket team means Pakistan will be a no-go area for sports teams for years to come but the country will still be able to “host” matches elsewhere, with a “home” series already lined up against Australia in Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

It’s a good solution for the Pakistan Cricket Board, who will keep the team playing and generate much needed cash from the sale of the TV broadcasting rights, but I hope this is not the start of a trend.

Great sporting events must take place where the crowds are there to watch them, even if TV revenue would still flow in for games played just for the cameras.

As I write this, Sweden are preparing to play their Davis Cup tennis tie against Israel behind closed doors, supposedly because they could not guarantee security should fans be allowed to actually turn up and watch the matches.

A long winter looms for Pakistan cricket

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cricketA billion fans in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka — all test nations — have used the game of cricket as a balm for their myriad problems.

That myth was exploded on Tuesday after gunmen wounded six Sri Lankan players after firing heavy weapons as their team bus wound its way towards the Gaddafi stadium in Lahore to start the third day’s play in the second test.

from Pakistan: Now or Never?:

Pakistan under siege: cricket becomes a target

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"Everything is officially going to hell." The verdict of a reader quoted by All Things Pakistan said perhaps better than anyone else why the attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team in Lahore marked a defining moment in Pakistan's agonising descent into chaos.

Six Sri Lankan cricketers and their British assistant coach were wounded when gunmen attacked their bus as it drove under police escort to the Gaddafi stadium in Lahore.  Five policemen were killed.

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