Batistuta gets on his high horse in new role
Gabriel Batistuta was always seen as a bit of a thoroughbred on the pitch so now that he's retired from football it may not come as a surprise that he is turning his attentions to polo. Batistuta spent nine years with Fiorentina scoring 168 goals in 269 appearances for the Viola but he has now teamed up with the world's number one polo player, Adolfo Cambiaso, in his native Argentina to develop his skills. Although he scored two goals in his first appearance, his performance left a little to be desired, as Batistuta knows it will be tough to match his prolific form from the football pitch in his new sport.
"I was awful! The important thing is I'm learning and I'm having fun, but you cannot change who you are, and I want to do things well even if I'm not a professional," Batistuta told Clarin after debuting for the Loro Piana polo club. "It's very difficult, but I hope to improve a little bit at a time," said Batistuta. "I'm a bit annoyed because I didn't play well, but I will keep trying." He now owns his own polo side and he is dedicating his time to it, as well as his farming business. The team is called La Gloria and it carries an influence from the player's time at Fiorentina as the team wears purple jerseys, and sports a crest similar to that of the club.
Poetry in motion says cricket is Belgian sport
It's just not cricket as new research indicates the sport cricket is not an English invention as commonly thought – it was actually imported from Belgium. A poem thought to have been written in 1533 has recently been uncovered, which suggests that the game originates from Flanders.
Attributed to John Skelton, it describes Flemish weavers as "kings of crekettes" and also mentions "wickettes". Paul Campbell, of the Australian National University, says the discovery proves the game is anything but English. The long-established theory is that cricket evolved from English children's games. The first references to the game appeared in England in the 1600s, when fines were handed out for those missing church to play.
Campbell's research was based on earlier investigations by Heiner Gillmeister, a linguist from the University of Bonn. He is certain cricket cannot have started in England: "There is no way to relate the term to any existing English word," he told the BBC. "I was brought up with Flemish children and I know the language well. I immediately thought of the Flemish phrase 'met de krik ketsen' which means to 'chase a ball with a curved stick'."
Cricket historian David Frith said, "It is hard to deny that this is a breakthrough. This discovery points to an addition to the great history of cricket. It's exciting we haven't yet written the final word on it. It does make you wonder why Belgium isn't playing Test cricket though, doesn't it?"
Something smells fishy for icy Wisconsin cheat
Organisers thought Lee Shehow's winning pike in a Wisconsin ice-fishing contest was a little, how shall we say, fishy. His Northern Pike was a healthy 2.42 pounds but following an anonymous tip they asked Shehow to submit to a lie-detector test.
The fisherman wriggled away, instead giving up his prize of a Dodge pick-up truck. The authorities were first told that Shehow's sweatshirt was mysteriously soaking wet, implying that he had smuggled something that requires water under his clothes. Then a refreshment stand employee said Shehow bought an awfully large amount of bottled water, especially for the low temperatures around Wisconsin. Finally there was a second anonymous phone call saying Shehow kept northern pike in his aquarium at home.
They brought in a private investigator to question him about his catch fish. Shehow wouldn't take the lie detector test but agreed to give up his prize in the interest of the integrity of the competition. Perhaps they should have figured it out a little earlier. Upon winning the competition, when asked on TV what he would do with the truck, Shehow replied, "Drive it like it's stolen."
Quirky Italian soccer side plays name game
An Italian football team is a referee's nightmare – because every single player has the same surname. Everyone in the squad – which plays in one of Italy's amateur leagues – shares the name De Feo. And the coach, secretary, doctor and all 12 sponsors of the Team De Feo club, in Serino, southern Italy, also have the same name. Just to add to the confusion, the team's ground is located on Raffaele De Feo street in the town.
The team was set up by former Serie A player Maurizio De Feo, 44, who he says he is going to talk to Guinness World Records officials to see if the team can claim a world record.
Locals also say he is unlikely to run out of De Feo players to fill the team any time soon. One said: "The name De Feo is as common in this region as Jones is in Wales."