Outside Edge: Spitting image of cops at large

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The Independent Online

No more blobby bobbies? Mumbai's new police commissioner, Arup Patnaik, had already made himself unpopular by confiscating TV sets when he found any officers watching the Cricket World Cup.

Now he has said that the 1,500 coppers on duty at next Saturday's Cricket World Cup final at the Wankhede Stadium must be "good-looking" in order to give a good impression. And they are not allowed to be fat – or chew tobacco. But if he's worried about the odd expectoration of brown gunk, let's just hope there's no repeat of the chaos that ensued when 105 police who were supposed to be on duty at the first quarter-final in Mirpur, Bangladesh, were left violently ill after eating at a restaurant – including members of the elite Rapid Action Battalion, who experienced a rapid action of their own.

Seven arrests were made, but perhaps the offending chefs could pass on their recipes to the Mumbai PD to help keep their weight down – though it sounds like they may have trouble keeping anything down.


Time in hours, minutes and seconds recorded by Kelly Gneiting in the Los Angeles Marathon. The 40-year-old three-time US sumo champion from Arizona is the heaviest man to finish a marathon at 401lb (though he lost 4lb in the race). He walked the last 18 miles, but it still took a lot of guts.

Old footballer glad to lend a hand

It's one of the big dilemmas facing sports stars: what to do when their careers come to an end? Andrea Figus, a little-known former footballer with Cagliari in Italy's Serie A, leapt to prominence in his second vocation as a plastic surgeon when it was revealed that he spent 10 hours sewing on the severed hand of a construction worker in Norfolk.

Former Colombia goalkeeper Rene Higuita has announced that he will be standing for mayor in the Guarne principality near Medellin. Nicknamed "El Loco", he may not be to everyone's taste after being imprisoned in 1993 for acting as a go-between in a kidnapping and profiting from delivering the ransom.

Meanwhile, Rachel Uchitel, one of Tiger Woods' alleged mistresses, has joined a private investigation agency in New York after completing her PI exams. No doubt she will be working under cover.

Good week

Andrea Masi, the Italy scrum-half, becomes the first of his country- men to win the Six Nations Player of the Championship award as chosen by the fans with more than 30 per cent of the 17,000 votes cast...

England's Libyan Snow Falcons team win the Ice Cricket World Championships in Tallinn, Estonia...

Lucas Ordonez, a video game player from Madrid, will race in the 2011 Le Mans 24-hour race three years after winning the inaugural Nissan GT championship for "Gran Turismo" gamers on Playstation, who then trained him to drive real cars.

Bad week

Shane Williams, the Wales winger, had to apologise to the Dyfed Powys police force after his 18-month-old son Carter called 999 three times in three months...

French chess grandmaster Sébastian Feller, team captain Arnaud Hauchard and Cyril Marzolo were found guilty of cheating at the Olympiad in Siberia by using text messages and choreographed movements in the hall...

Simon Blackburn of Blackpool Town Council, a Blackburn supporter, called Blackpool fans "donkey-botherers" on Facebook.

If messing about in boats gets your goat...

Yesterday's 157th Boat Race may be sinking fast in the affections of the public but the Oxford and Cambridge Goat Race is just getting started.

The third such event was held yesterday at Spitalfields City Farm in London, at the same time as its rowing rival, after the Nice Butt Contest, the Stoat Race and the How Low Can You Goat Contest. The results had not come in at the time of going to press but we know that last year Cambridge's Bramble beat her brother, Oxford's Bently, in a time of 1min 14sec.

Now the build-up begins to the Big Sheep Grand National in Abbotsham, Devon, which is held on the same day as some horse race at Aintree.

Meanwhile, stunt rider Daniel Fowler-Prime has set up a National Horse-Boarding Training Centre in Seisdon, near Wolverhampton, for students of the latest sporting craze, which involves a horse pulling a skateboarder along on a rope. They can reach speeds of 35mph within five horse strides. But it's not very stable.