Outside Edge

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The Independent Online

Hull City's chairman, Paul Duffen, had a six-month driving ban for speeding lifted last week after he claimed it would cause him "exceptional hardship". He said he couldn't hire a chauffeur, as had been suggested by magistrates at his sentencing in May, because it would compromise his ability to discuss sensitive transfer deals. Outside Edge thinks that Duffen should have Kevin Ward, winner of the Ancient and Honourable Town Criers Guild Championship, in the passenger seat telling everyone what he's talking about – and Daz the German Shepherd in the back. Last week in Finsbury Park, Daz broke the world record for the loudest-ever bark, 108 decibels – the same as a chainsaw.

100

Runs scored by Lee Wood opening the batting for Hartley Wintney against Harlequins in Hampshire before his partner Toby Harper had got off the mark. "Toby got by far the biggest cheer of the day when he finally scored a run."

Sharp practice of the week

No one said sport had to be fun, and last weekend at the Bottle Inn in Marshwood, Dorset, the World Stinging Nettle Eating Championships were no exception. The record stands at 76ft but one of the dangers is "green bearding", whereby facial paralysis causes the eater to dribble uncontrollably. A thousand people came to watch but if that's not disgusting enough for you, why not get really low-down and dirty at next weekend's World Worm-Charming Championships in Willaston, Cheshire. Farmer Tom Shufflebottom started it all in 1980 by raising 511 worms in half an hour. But be warned, the rules are strict: water is classified as a performance-enhancing drug.

Good week for

Phil Jackson, NBA's most successful coach after winning his 10th championship ring as the LA Lakers beat Orlando Magic... Peugeot, ended Audi's five-year domination of 24-hour race at Le Mans... and Abhijit Kale, hit 39 runs off an over for Linden Park against Catford in Kent, including six sixes in a row (nb1-nb1-2-6-nb6-6-6-6-6).

Bad week for

Julian Simon, celebrated victory in the MotoGP 125cc race at Barcelona a lap too early and ended up in fourth place... Sport England, mislaid £19.7 million over eight years by losing track of a bank account for the World Class Payments Bureau... and Simon Jones, injury-plagued paceman will miss rest of season because of more knee problems.

Smash hits of the week

As Ashes fever heats up, the diverse worlds of cricket and pop music collide with 'The Duckworth Lewis Method' by the Divine Comedy frontman Neil Hannon, who describes it as "possibly the least necessary album of recent years". It includes songs such as 'Meeting Mr Miandad' and 'The Nightwatchman', a tribute to England's James Anderson. More frightening still is the Australian "comedy horror" movie 'I Know How Many Runs You Scored Last Summer', directed by Stacey Edmonds and Doug Turner. It's about a "Pommie bastard psycho" serial killer intent on wreaking revenge for a bullying incident during a game of cricket at school 20 years before. Seems perfectly reasonable really.

a.tong@independent.co.uk

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