Analyst named as captain of England’s new kabaddi team

DUBBED the David Beckham of kabaddi, analyst at financial start-up Funding Options Vishal Ladwa has been named as England team captain of the sport – best described as a brutal game of tag.

The England team are new to the kabaddi competition circuit having only formed four months ago. They were supposed to take on the world’s best at the World Cup in India, but their debut performance has been postponed due to political tensions. Nevertheless Ladwa was pleasantly surprised at the level of support from his company: “One of the tech team even named a staging platform ‘kabaddi’ after me!”

■ Most footballs fans are unlikely to hang onto old match programmes as an investment for future generations, but it would seem they might be missing a trick. The earliest known surviving FA Cup Final programme was sold at a Sotheby’s sporting memorabilia auction for £35,250 yesterday – creating a new world record. The pricey programme, from an 1882 game between the Old Etonians and Blackburn Rovers, was discovered in a box of papers that was bought as part of a job lot in a different auction – a very hidden treasure indeed, as it turns out.

■ Laughs all round at the House of Lords Economic Affairs Committee yesterday, where big firms were being quizzed on striking so-called sweetheart deals with the taxman. Energy giant BP’s in-house tax guru John Bartlett categorically denied ever making such a deal – which prompted Lord Smith of Clifton to share his real thoughts on the bean counting profession. “Accountants are hardly known for their romantic sides. So I would hardly expect you to recognise a sweetheart deal when one is offered,” he sniffed.