July 19, 2011 / 6:37 AM / 8 years ago

Harbhajan's mother in a spin over Dhoni spoof commercial

India's captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni (R) and Harbhajan Singh attend a practice session in Nagpur February 5, 2010. REUTERS/Arko Datta/Files

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - Spin bowler Harbhajan Singh’s mother has filed a legal notice against a liquor company for running an advertisement in which captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni ridicules her son, local media reported on Tuesday.

Dhoni, promoting a UB Group brand in the commercial, mocks team mate Harbhajan’s catchphrase from another advertisement promoting a rival product.

The spoof also shows a Harbhajan lookalike being slapped, something many feel was not in good taste.

Harbhajan’s mother Avtar Kaur has asked the company to apologise through newspapers and television channels and withdraw the advertisement within three days of receiving the legal notice.

UB Group chief Vijay Mallya, however, has ruled out withdrawing the commercial, the Times of India newspaper reported.

“It was not meant to attack Harbhajan Singh personally. It was just a spoof between two brands,” Mallya, who is also the head of Formula One team Force India, told the newspaper.

“There are several TV programmes that spoof our politicians. What will happen if all of them start sending legal notices?”

The bowler’s agent claimed the brand rivalry would not sour the spinner’s relation with his captain, saying their bond was too strong to be affected by the episode.

Harbhajan, who is the leading active wicket-taker in test cricket with 404 victims, will spearhead India’s slow bowling options when Dhoni’s men begin their four-match series against England at Lord’s on Thursday.

Writing by Amlan Chakraborty in New Delhi; Editing by John O'Brien: To query or comment on this story email sportsfeedback@thomsonreuters.com

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