Watchdog urges Russia world cup opening boycott over Syria

first_img0Shares0000Russian President Vladimir Putin delivers a speech ahead of the 2018 FIFA World Cup football tournament final draw at the State Kremlin Palace in Moscow © AFP/File / YURI KADOBNOVBEIRUT, Lebanon, May 22 – World leaders should boycott Russian President Vladimir Putin’s VIP box at next month’s World Cup opening unless he takes steps to protect Syrian civilians, Human Rights Watch said Tuesday.Russia, which hosts the world’s most-watched sporting event for the first time this year, is a key backer of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s regime and arguably the most powerful broker in the seven-year-old war. “In hosting one of the most televised events in the world, Russia is courting world public opinion and looking for respect,” HRW’s executive director, Kenneth Roth, said in a statement.“World leaders should signal to President Putin that unless he changes track and acts to end atrocities by Russian and Syrian forces in Syria, they won’t be in their seats in the VIP box with him on opening night.”Billions of people worldwide are expected to watch the World Cup on television and HRW argued that Moscow’s responsibility in the suffering of Syrian civilians should not be forgotten.Russia is the main exporter of weaponry to the Syrian regime and its forces provide on-the-ground support to government forces and allied militia.The New York-based watchdog has documented Russian-Syrian joint military operations that “have caused thousands of civilian casualties”, including recently in Eastern Ghouta near Damascus.Roth warned that millions of other civilians faced the same fate in upcoming operations, especially in the northwestern province of Idlib that still largely escapes government control.“World leaders should not allow a sporting event to gloss over a pattern of atrocities in Syria that now looms over two million civilians,” he said.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more

ICC ODI rankings: Rohit Sharma regains 2nd spot, Virat Kohli stays No.1

first_imgRohit Sharma, after leading India to a record seventh Asia Cup title in the absence of Virat Kohli, moved up two places to equal his career-best second spot to make it a 1-2 for India in ICC ODI rankings for batsmen.Rohit Sharma, who scored 317 runs, second to only his teammate Shikhar Dhawan, in the Asia Cup had climbed up to the second spot for the first time earlier this year in July.Rohit Sharma scored 48 off 55 deliveries in the Asia Cup final as India beat Bangladesh by three wickets in a last ball-thriller.India’s regular captain Virat Kohli continues to be the top-ranked ODI batsman with 884 points while Rohit was second with 842 rating points.Also read – Sourav Ganguly surprised by Rohit Sharma’s omission from Test series vs West IndiesRohit’s opening partner Dhawan also moved up four slots to attain the fifth rank after ending up as the highest run-getter in the Asia Cup in UAE with 342 runs.Dhawan and Rohit were even given a rest in India’s final Super Four match against Afghanistan but still ended up as the top two run scorers in the tournament, primarily at the bakc of a record 210-run partnership in the Super Four match against Pakistan, where Rohit slammed an unbeaten 111 while Dhawan blasted 114 runs.Also read – India vs West Indies: Mayank Agarwal, Mohammed Siraj earn maiden Test call-upsApart from Rohit and Dhawan, spinner Kuldeep Yadav gained three places to reach his career-best third place after he finished as the joint-highest wicket taker in the Asia Cup.advertisementKuldeep, with 10 wickets, shared the honours with Bangladesh quick Mustafizur Rahman and Afghanistan leg-spinner Rashid Khan.Rashid displaced former Bangladesh captain Shakib Al Hasan to become the top-ranked all-rounders in ODIs while he continued to be second to Jasprit Bumrah in the ODI rankings for bowlers. He has become the first from Afghanistan and 32nd overall to reach top position in the all rounders’ with a jump of six places.Also read – Asia Cup 2018: Rashid Khan’s all-round show helps Afghanistan crush BangladeshRashid’s success with the ball saw him cross the 800-point mark during the tournament, that had five of the 10 teams who will take part in next year’s ICC Cricket World Cup, and he also chipped in with 87 runs to reach a career-best 97th position among batsmen.Afghanistan opener Mohammad Shahzad has gained 19 slots to reach 36th position, his highest in two years, while spinner Mujeeb Ur Rahman has gained 15 slots to reach eighth position.Also read – Asia Cup 2018: Birthday boy Rashid Khan becomes Afghanistan’s joint-highest wicket-takerFor Bangladesh, wicketkeeper-batsman Mushfiqur Rahim has attained a career-best 16th position, while Liton Das has advanced 107 positions to reach 116th rank after his fine century in the final. Mustafizur has moved up four places to take 12th position among bowlers.Pakistan left-hander Imam-ul-Haq has gained 15 places to reach a career-best 27th position while Shoaib Malik has gained 12 slots to reach 42nd position. Junaid Khan has gained seven slots to reach 30th position among bowlers.For Sri Lanka, Upul Tharanga has gained two positions to reach 41st rank while Hong Kong captain Anshuman Rath’s knock of 73 against India has led him to 55th position with 532 points, the highest ever points tally for a Hong Kong batsman.Rath’s opening partner Nizakat Khan has gained 28 slots to reach a career-best 78th rank.In the ICC ODI Team rankings, there is no change in positions. England lead the rankings, followed by India, New Zealand, South Africa, Pakistan, Australia, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and the West Indies.However, India have gained one point and Afghanistan five. Pakistan and Sri Lanka have lost three points each.(With PTI inputs)last_img read more