Panesar fined for urinating
England spin bowler Monty Panesar has been fined for drunkenly urinating in public after being asked to leave a nightclub, police revealed on Wednesday. The 31-year-old was ejected from a club in Brighton on the English south coast in the early hours of Monday morning. After he was seen urinating near the venue, police were called and he was issued with a fine for being drunk and disorderly. “A 31-year-old man received a fixed penalty notice for being drunk and disorderly after being seen urinating in public near the Shooshh Club in King’s Road Arches, Brighton, around 4:13am on Monday [Aug. 5],” a police spokesman said. The Sun newspaper claimed that Panesar was told to leave the club for harassing women and that he urinated from the promenade above the venue onto bouncers standing below. Panesar was a member of the England squad that retained the Ashes after drawing the third Test against Australia in Manchester on Monday, but did not play.
Team admits marriage stunt
A minor league team acknowledged on Wednesday that it staged a rejected marriage proposal during a recent game as a publicity stunt. The Double-A New Britain Rock Cats, an affiliate of the Minnesota Twins, issued a statement saying the club had two employees pretend to be a couple taking part in a between-innings trivia contest last Friday. The third question in the contest was a surprise marriage proposal to which the woman on the field replies, “I’m sorry, I can’t, I’m sorry” and then flees. The man then also runs off the field and into the Rock Cats dugout. A video of the stunt has been viewed more than 600,000 times on YouTube and was the subject of several news stories, some of which questioned its authenticity. The club confirmed the hoax in a news release. “After watching a public proposal, we talked about what would happen if the answer were ‘no,’ and how that might affect a crowd and those viewing it after on video,” said Mike Abramson, the team’s vice president of marketing. “We worked with two of our staff on the skit and executed a digital strategy to set the video on a viral path; we could not be more pleased with the outcome.”
Barrett stays with Hurricanes
All Blacks flyhalf Beauden Barrett ended weeks of speculation yesterday by deciding to stay with the Wellington Hurricanes after suggestions he would move north to the Auckland Blues. The 21-year-old used his Twitter account to confirm that he had decided to remain in New Zealand’s capital next season because he felt the Super Rugby team had “unfinished business.” Barrett’s decision is expected to clear the way for former New Zealand rugby league captain Benji Marshall to move to the Blues.
US back in FIFA top 20
The US have been rewarded for winning the Gold Cup last month by reaching their highest place in the FIFA rankings for more than two years. The US rose three places in the rankings released yesterday to No. 19, where they also placed in March 2011. The Americans replace No. 20 Mexico as CONCACAF’s highest-placed team for the first time since 2011. Spain lead an unchanged top 10, with Germany second and Colombia third. Confederations Cup winners Brazil remain at No. 9. Ivory Coast are still Africa’s highest-ranked team, though they drop five places to No. 18. Japan leads Asian nations at No. 37. Taiwan fell one place to 176th.