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Rediff.com  » Cricket » UB Group withdraws controversial Harbhajan commercial

UB Group withdraws controversial Harbhajan commercial

July 22, 2011 20:09 IST

The Vijay Mallya-owned UB Group on Friday withdrew the controversial advertisement showing India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni "mocking" at Harbhajan Singh's look-alike, which had prompted the spinner to slap a legal notice against the group.

The UB Group said it has taken a decision to replace the advertisement "in the interest of the game of cricket" and fearing that the commercial could be misused by vested interests to further their own agenda.

"This gesture [to replace the ad] of Dr Mallya is based on the larger national cricketing interests, particularly at time when the Indian Team is engaged in a crucial cricket Test series in the United Kingdom," read a statement from the group.

"Despite clear-cut legal opinion and the view of the management that there is no maintainable case, and further keeping in mind that the commercial can be used by vested interests to further their own agenda, in the interest of the game of cricket, Dr Mallya has graciously chosen to replace the current commercial.

"The UB Group and Dr Vijay Mallya are very closely involved with and have a significant stake in cricket and would never disparage any cricketer. Clearly, the letter received by us has been instigated by vested interests with mischievous intent," the statement added.

The UB group and Vijay Mallya through legal counsel responded to the notice received by them from the advocates for Avtar Kaur, mother of Harbhajan.

The response took the position that from the notice itself it was apparent that vested interests have found in Mrs Avtar Kaur a soft target to further their own agenda and the smear campaign against UB group of companies and Dr Vijay Mallya.