Sports in Pakistan:

Gunmen in rickshaws attack cricket team

LAHORE, Pakistan – A team of heavily armed gunmen, some traveling in rickshaws, ambushed Sri Lanka’s national cricket team Tuesday as it arrived for a match, killing six police guards and wounding seven players. The brazen attack heightened fears that Pakistan is becoming increasingly unstable.

The assault bore striking similarities to last year’s three-day hostage drama in the Indian financial capital of Mumbai.

Working in pairs, the attackers in Lahore carried walkie-talkies and backpacks stuffed with water, dried fruit and other high-energy food — a sign they anticipated a protracted siege and may have been planning to take the players hostage.

The bus sped through the ambush, but the gunmen’s preparations indicated they may been planning to hijack the vehicle, Interior Ministry chief Rehman Malik told The Associated Press. None of the gunmen were killed and all apparently escaped into this teeming eastern city. (read more)

Sports in America:

Pirates sign Indian—not Cleveland—pitchers

PITTSBURGH (AP)—The Pittsburgh Pirates hope Rinku Singh and Dinesh Patel really do have million-dollar arms.

The two 20-year-old pitchers, neither of whom had picked up a baseball until earlier this year, signed free-agent contracts Monday with the Pirates. They are believed to be the first athletes from India to sign professional baseball contracts outside their country.

Singh and Patel came to the United States six months ago after being the top finishers in an Indian reality TV show called the “Million Dollar Arm” that drew about 30,000 contestants. The show sought to find athletes who could throw strikes at 85 miles per hour or faster.

While neither pitcher threw hard enough to earn the $1 million prize, Singh made $100,000 from the contest and Patel made $2,500, plus his trip to the United States

The contest was sponsored by a California sports management company that believed it could locate major league-worthy arms in a country of more than 1 billion. After working extensively with Southern California pitching coach Tom House since May, the pitchers staged a tryout in Tempe, Ariz., on Nov. 6 that was attended by 30 major league scouts.

“The Pirates are committed to creatively adding talent to our organization,” Pirates general manager Neal Huntington said Monday. “By adding these two young men, the Pirates are pleased to not only add two prospects to our system but also hope to open a pathway to an untapped market. We are intrigued by Patel’s arm strength and Singh’s frame and potential.” (read more)

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