The opening of the newspaper silly season is always marked by the arrival of several ridiculous press releases.

Backchat commends Halifax Home Insurance for putting the first ball over the net with its own sports extravaganza publicity. Forget NHS blunders, water shortages, and terrorists, this summer's threat is flying balls.

Surburbs will be crammed with sports mad people who have watched too much TV and want to emulate their football, tennis or cricket heroes, Halifax says. Look out insurance companies, you can expect a wave of claims for windows which have been smashed by flying balls, it warns.

"Undoubtedly fans will be eager to 'bend it like Beckham', emulate Rusedski's previous record breaking 149mph serve, or hit a boundary like Freddie Flintoff," said Vicky Emmott, senior underwriter for Halifax Home Insurance.

Balls indeed, thinks Backchat.