Wed, Jul 20, 2011 - Page 19 News List

SPORTS BRIEFS

Agencies

CRICKET

Harbhajan’s mom at bat

Spin bowler Harbhajan Singh’s mother has filed a legal notice against a liquor company for running an advertisement in which India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni ridicules her son, local media reported yesterday. Dhoni, promoting a UB Group brand in the commercial, mocks teammate Harbhajan’s catchphrase from another advertisement promoting a rival product. The spoof also shows a Harbhajan lookalike being slapped, something many feel was not in good taste. Harbhajan’s mother Avtar Kaur has asked the company to apologize through newspapers and television channels and to withdraw the advertisement within three days of receiving the legal notice. However, UB Group chief Vijay Mallya has ruled out withdrawing the commercial, the Times of India newspaper reported. “It was not meant to attack Harbhajan Singh personally. It was just a spoof between two brands,” Mallya, who is also the head of Formula One team Force India, told the newspaper. “There are several TV programs that spoof our politicians. What will happen if all of them start sending legal notices?”

CRICKET

Dhoni bat hits six figures

The cricket bat used by India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni to hit a match--winning six in the World Cup final has fetched a staggering £100,000 (US$160,500) at an auction, media reported yesterday. The auction was held in London on Monday to raise funds for his charitable foundation that was launched in India last year, the Press Trust of India news agency said. The India captain, who scored an unbeaten 79-ball 91 with the bat in his team’s six-wicket win over Sri Lanka in the final in Mumbai in April, sealed the match when he smashed seamer Nuwan Kulasekara for six.

SOCCER

Given signs with Villa

Aston Villa on Monday announced the signing of experienced Irish goalkeeper Shay Given on a five-year contract from Premier League rivals Manchester City. The 35-year-old, who arrived for an undisclosed fee, is Villa coach Alex McLeish’s first signing since he succeeded Gerard Houllier at the end of last season. “Aston Villa is a huge club and I’m really excited to be joining,” Given told the Villa Web site. “It’s a new challenge and I’m eager to embrace it.” Given joined City from Newcastle United for £7 million (US$11.2m) in 2009, but has spent much of his time on the bench after City coach Roberto Mancini decided to make England international Joe Hart his first-choice goalkeeper. The Irishman, his country’s most capped player with 113 appearances, will replace American goalkeeper Brad Friedel, who left Villa for Tottenham Hotspur last month after three years at the Midlands club.

SOCCER

Final sparks Twitter frenzy

Twitter users fired off a record number of tweets per second at the final whistle of Japan’s thrilling upset win over the US in the women’s World Cup final. The San Francisco-based real-time blogging service said Twitter users sent 7,196 tweets per second after Japan defeated the US in a penalty shootout. Twitter, in a statement on its @TwitterGlobalPR feed, said another soccer match was next in terms of the highest number of tweets per second ever sent: Brazil’s shock loss to Paraguay in the Copa America. Twitter users sent 7,166 tweets per second at the conclusion of that match. Twitter’s previous record was the 6,939 tweets per second sent on January 1 this year as the New Year arrived in Tokyo.

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