Outside Edge

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The Independent Online

American sports are big on razzmatazz, skimpily clad cheerleaders a speciality. And why not? But it turns out that this is a more risky activity than the sports themselves – according to the National Center for Catastrophic Injury Research, of the 103 fatal or disabling injuries among female high school athletes between 1982 and 2007, 67 were suffered while cheerleading, with the next two most dangerous endeavours way behind: gymnastics (9) and athletics (7). The Indian cheerleaders strutting their stuff at England's cricket day-nighter at Cuttack on Wednesday are unlikely to attempt any acrobatics, though, as it has been decreed they must all cover themselves with the full nine yards of silk cloth. Sounds a sari state of affairs to us.


The number of fences runners in the annual Pantomime Horse Grand National in Birmingham's Centenary Square at 3pm next Sunday will have to jump/blunder through. All together now, boys and girls: "Look out behind you!"

Tedious publicity stunt of the week

Premier League footballers rarely pass up a chance to make themselves look ridiculous or earn easy money, so they will doubtless have welcomed the opportunity to do both at the same time. If you spotted a goalscorer doing weird new gyrations on the pitch yesterday, blame an online betting firm, who have offered £10,000 for the first player to "Do the TaiKai", a "martial arts-inspired dance move" designed to publicise the launch of some new way of giving money to the bookies. "1) Assume crane stance; 2) Crane kick; 3) Karate chops" – for TaiKai read tacky. But is anything too tacky for the Premier League these days?

Good week for

Zarkava, unbeaten winner of the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe, named racehorse of the year... Mara Yamauchi, British marathon runner, set a personal best in the Tokyo Marathon... Yvan Muller, clinched the World Touring Car title in Macau... and Ian Poulter, English golfer, replaced his stolen driver with one he used to win an event in Japan last year when he spotted it in a display cabinet.

Bad week for

Hans Leitert, Tottenham's Austrian goalkeeping coach, left the club after a series of howlers by the club's No 1, Heurelho Gomes... Bernie Ecclestone, F1's billionaire supremo, faces a huge payout after his wife filed for divorce... Sacha Gaydamak, Portsmouth FC's owner who wants to sell, has not received one offer... and four Edgbaston homeowners, served with compulsory purchase orders to facilitate a revamp of the cricket ground.

More costume dramas of the week

A rough week for other US sports-event entertainers with crowd-pleasing outfits. First Jaxson de Ville, the Jackson-ville Jaguars gridiron team mascot, waved his sparklers over-enthusiastically as he led the team out last Sunday and set his nylon ears on fire. Then Kelly Frank, who togged up for five seasons as Raymond, the mascot of the Tampa Bay Rays baseball team, was fired weeks after they lost the World Series. Could have been worse, though – the Detroit Tigers mascot, Paws, was once sued by a fan who claimed he was hit and injured by a wayward ball because he was too busy watching Paws' antics. The jury threw the case out, the Tigers threw the fan out.