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Hollywood fame for Sunny

Mumbai: The Hollywood Cricket Club (HCC), one of the oldest (founded in 1932) and most popular cricket clubs in America, bestowed the “honorary life membership” to former Indian captain Sunil Gavaskar at Sequoia Centre in the city of Buena Park, California recently.

The Los Angeles-based club, founded in 1932, boasts of celebrity members like writers Sir P.G. Wodehouse, actor and former England captain Sir C. Aubrey Smith, Hollywood stars David Niven, Boris Karloff, Cary Grant, Tommy Freebairn Smith, Nigel Bruce and many others.

“Gavaskar, India’s highest rungetter in Tests, was the chief guest during the club’s 70th anniversary recently and the Little Master presented a signed cricket bat to Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca during the function,” HCC president Jimmy Colabavala said here on Wednesday.

Warne blackmailer in court

Sydney: An Australian businessman tried to blackmail the Australian Cricket Board by claiming leg-spinner Shane Warne stole a kiss from his 16-year-old niece in a public street, a court heard on Wednesday.

Christopher Kent, 45, who lives in Queensland appeared in the Melbourne magistrates’ court charged with trying to blackmail the board for $2,850 and for using a telephone to cause menace.

In January last year, the girl and several friends reportedly pursued Warne and pace bowler Brett Lee in a car on the Gold Coast tourist strip until the pair pulled over in their sports car. The court heard Kent told the ACB that Warne subsequently kissed the girl. Kent demanded money to keep silent about the incident.

Bianchi returns to Boca

Buenos Aires: Carlos Bianchi, who guided Boca Juniors to a string of trophies between 1998 and 2001, returned to coach Argentina’s most popular club on Tuesday but his new reign got off to an inauspicious start with seven key players missing from training.Three players are with a national team training camp and another three — including the club’s big hope for the future Carlos Tevez — are playing for their country in the South American under-20 championship in Uruguay. New signing, Diego Cagna was in Spain awaiting the birth of his son.

Voeller unhurt in car crash

Nuremberg :Germany football coach Rudi Voeller and his two children aged 14 escaped unhurt on Wednesday after his vehicle slid and hit a Czech truck on an icy highway in southern Germany.

Voeller was fined $36 for the accident, which occured while he was driving to a skiing spot in Austria. “It was slick and I lost my attention briefly,” Voeller said later.

Police estimated his BMW sports utility vehicle suffered $7,000 damage and the truck $3,000.

The German coach and his two 14-year-old children, Marco and Laura, used a replacement vehicle to continue their trip to Kitzbuehel, Austria.

Ryder Cup denial

London: Europe Ryder Cup director Richard Hills, on Wednesday dismissed a report that his organisation was demanding up to £1 million compensation from the US PGA for the extra security costs of last year’s match at the Belfry.“We are not asking for one pound, let alone one million,” Hills said.

His response came after an Edinburgh newspaper reported that a contribution was being pursued as it was the Americans who requested extra security.

Reiziger for City

London: Manchester City have invited Barcelona’s Dutch international Michael Reiziger to spend Thursday at the club with a view to joining the Premier League team on loan until the end of the season.

The versatile 29-year-old defender, who won the European Cup with Ajax Amsterdam, has fallen out of favour at Barcelona whom he joined from AC Milan in 1997. “Michael will come in on Thursday and spend the day here,” City manager Kevin Keegan said.

n Cricket, tri-series: Australia vs Sri Lanka, live from 8.45 am on ESPN n Motorsport: National motocross championship from 4.30pm on STAR Sports n Soccer, Premier League: 2002-03 highlights from 5pm on ESPN


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