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Russia Banned From Olympics By World Anti-Doping Body WADA For Four Years Over Doping

The World Anti-Doping Agency on Monday banned Russia from global sporting events including the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics after accusing Moscow of falsifying data from an anti-doping laboratory. "The full list of recommendations have been unanimously accepted," said WADA spokesman James Fitzgerald, speaking at a meeting of the body's executive committee in Lausanne. "WADA's executive committee approved unanimously to assert a non-compliance on the Russian anti-doping agency for a period of four years," he added.

The ruling means Russian athletes will still be allowed to compete at the Tokyo Olympics as neutrals, but only if they can demonstrate that they were not part of what WADA believes was a state-sponsored system of doping.

"They are going to have prove they had nothing to do with the non-compliance, (that) they were not involved in the doping schemes as described by the McLaren report, or they did not have their samples affected by the manipulation," Fitzgerald said.

The independent McLaren report, released in 2016, revealed the significant extent of state-sponsored doping in Russia, notably between 2011-15.

Fawad Alam Included In Pakistan Test Squad After 10 Years

Pakistan have recalled left-handed batsman Fawad Alam for the historic two-Test series against Sri Lanka beginning next week. Fawad has been in great form in recent times. In the ongoing first-class Quaid-e-Azam Trophy, he has so far scored four centuries playing for Sindh. The 34-year-old has so far played three Tests for Pakistan in which he has scored 250 runs, including one century. His last Test appearance came in 2009 against New Zealand. Besides, he has also represented the Men in Green in 38 ODIs and 24 T20Is.

This series will mark the return of Test cricket to Pakistan after 10 years. Sri Lanka were the last team to play Tests there, in 2009, when their tour was cut short by an attack on the team bus. Their return to play red-ball cricket in the country thus holds significance.

Pakistan recently had a poor outing on their tour to Australia where they failed to register a single win in three T20Is and two Tests they played.

The first match of the two-Test series will be played at the Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium from December 11 while the second Test will be held at the National Stadium in Karachi from December 19.

Sri Lanka visited Pakistan in September-October wherein the two teams competed in three ODIs and as many T20Is. Sri Lanka had last month announced their full-strength squad for the Test matches. The team, led by Dimuth Karunaratne, will leave for Pakistan on Sunday to take part in the series, held under the ongoing ICC World Test Championship.

Squad: Azhar Ali (c), Abid Ali, Asad Shafiq, Babar Azam, Fawad Alam, Haris Sohail, Imam-ul-Haq, Imran Khan, Kashif Bhatti, Mohammad Abbas, Mohammad Rizwan, Naseem Shah, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Shan Masood, Yasir Shah, Usman Khan Shinwari.

Dale Steyn, Chris Lynn To Have Highest Base Price For IPL 2020 Auction

The Indian Premier League (IPL) 2020 auction is slated to take place on December 19 in Kolkata. 971 players from across the globe are expected to go under the hammer during the IPL 2020 auction. Ahead of the IPL 2020 auction, quite a few players were traded while some were retained by their respective franchises. However, the IPL 2020 auction, will  be a final chance for all the franchises to evaluate their shortcomings and complete the side. Here's a look at the base prices of a few marquee players who can add firepower to any franchise. 

Robin Uthappa, who was surprisingly released by Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) for the upcoming edition, has kept his base price at Rs. 1.5 crore, according to a report in espncricinfo.com. It also makes Uthappa the Indian player with the highest base price for IPL 2020 auction. Shaun Marsh, Kane Richardson, Eoin Morgan, Jason Roy, Chris Woakes and David Willey have also kept the same base price for the IPL 2020 auction. 

Twenty20 (T20) specialist Chris Lynn, injury-prone but effective fast bowler Dale Steyn, top ranked Test bowler Pat Cummins and premier all-rounder Glenn Maxwell have all kept their base price at Rs. 2 crore. Mitchell Marsh, Josh Hazlewood and Angelo Mathews are the other players who have the same base price.

Australia speedster Mitchell Starc, meanwhile, has opted out of the upcoming auction.  

Nepal's Anjali Chand Scripts History, Claims Best T20I Bowling Figures

Nepal brushed aside the Maldives in the first match of the South Asian Games women's cricket competition on Monday. Maldives captain Zoona Mariyam won the toss and opted to bat but the decision backfired as the Maldives were bundled out for just 17 runs. Anjali Chand, who came into bowl in the seventh over, took six wickets in the game to help Nepal wrap up the game in the first over. Anjali Chand bowled two maiden overs and bagged six wickets without conceding a single run off her bowling to register the best bowling figures in any Twenty20 International (T20I) game.

Anjali struck in her first over as she sent back the Maldives skipper for a duck and two deliveries later, the 24-year-old out foxed Latsha Haleemath to pick up her second wicket.

Shaffaa Saleem, who came in to bat at number eight, failed to open her account as Anjali managed to get past her defence.

Eashal Ibrahim, Kinaanath Ismail and Shamma Ali also lost their wickets without troubling the scorers.

Chasing a below-par total of 17, Kajal Shrestha hit two boundaries in the first over as Nepal finished the match in just five deliveries.

Previously, Mas Elysa of Maldives had held the record with figures of 6 for three against China in 2019.

In men's cricket, Deepak Chahar of India holds the record for best bowling figures in a T20I. The fast bowler had picked up six wickets for seven runs against Bangladesh last month.

Pakistan To Host Sri Lanka, Their First Test Series At Home In More Than 10 Years

Pakistan will host Sri Lanka at home for a two-Test series in December, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) announced on Thursday. The two Test matches will be part of the World Test Championship. The series opener will be played at the Pindi Cricket Stadium in Rawalpindi from December 11-15, while Karachi's National Stadium will host the second Test from December 19-23. The series is significant development for the Pakistani cricket lovers as they will be hosting their first Test series at home in more than 10 years.

Since the 2009 terrorist attack on the Sri Lankan team bus, Pakistan have played most of their matches in their adopted home ground in the United Arab Emirates.

"Originally, Sri Lanka were scheduled to play Tests in October and then return in December for white-ball cricket, but the matches were swapped to provide them the opportunity to assess the situation before deciding on the Test venues," the media said.

"This is a fabulous news for Pakistan cricket and its reputation of being as safe and secure as any other country in the world. We are thankful to Sri Lanka Cricket for agreeing to send their team for the longer version of the game, which will contribute significantly in the PCB's efforts and drive for regular resumption of international cricket, and help in its endeavours of attracting new audiences and younger generation," said Zakir Khan, PCB Director (International Cricket).

"We are pleased to confirm our return visit to Pakistan as, based on our earlier visit, we are comfortable and convinced conditions are suitable and conducive for Test cricket," said Ashley de Silva, chief executive of Sri Lanka Cricket.

Sri Lanka had visited Pakistan for a limited-overs series, comprising three One-day Internationals and as many Twenty20 Internationals from September 27-October 9.

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