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Test Match Special

The blog from the boundary

Monty - Beard of the Year 2006

  • Pranav Soneji
  • 27 Dec 06, 10:47 PM

Amid the doom and gloom in Melbourne, a glimmer of good news for England spinner Monty Panesar, who has just been named the 2006 Beard of the Year.

Monty's facial hair has enjoyed meteoric success in the past nine months and its hard work has been acknowledged by the Beard Liberation Front, an informal network of beard wearers.

montypanesar.jpgThis is no mean feat, considering he was pushed all the way by one of the greatest revolutionary beards of them all, Cuba's ailing leader Fidel Castro.

Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams and veteran trade union leader Paul Mackney tied for third place.

Cricket and the BotY award have a symbiotic relationship - TMS statistician Bill Frindall is a regular inclusion in the annual shortlist and Andrew Flintoff's (now distant) heroics in the 2005 Ashes series sporting a healthy gingery-blond designer stubble won him the title last year.

Panesar, a devout Sikh, will no doubt be thrilled to learn of his latest accolade after missing out on the 2006 Sports Personality of the Year award.

"Of course he (Monty) has his beard for rather different reasons than say a footballer or actor with a designer beard, but whatever the reason people have beards, we focus on the magnificence of the hirsuteness," said BLF Organiser Keith Flett.

At least this is one title the Aussies can't take away...


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  1. At 11:42 PM on 27 Dec 2006, Andy wrote:

    Fantastic News for monty! Now to finish of aus this morning then have monty hit a maiden unbeaten half century in a 90 run stand with steve harmison for the final wicket!

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  2. At 11:59 PM on 27 Dec 2006, Will Davies wrote:

    If only they'd judged it by multiplying beard size by bowling genius, and that horrid bit of fluff Shane Warne keeps on the tip of his chin would have won the prize by a mile.

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  3. At 12:01 AM on 28 Dec 2006, singh wrote:

    he a reat player but needs to become the ext warne give him four years and he be up there with bond and lee he wicked GO MONTY

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  4. At 12:43 AM on 28 Dec 2006, andrew wrote:

    92 overs from seamers in the test. 12 from Monty. And who was beating the bat, with LBW decisions turned down again? Another piece of "interesting" captaincy.

    Well, at least woith the beard award the "Sikh of Tweak" gets something - after all when his beard gets rocking with his leaping about antiques, you get an awesome idea of what "Black Beard" might have done on a cricket pitch.

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  5. At 12:47 AM on 28 Dec 2006, Tommy Rob wrote:

    Well done Monty - he's great. Apart from his technical abilities as a bowler it is marvellous to see a real breathing genuinely enthusiastic character in this world of uniform drones and androids. Long may he prosper - which he will under sensible captaincy.

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  6. At 12:52 AM on 28 Dec 2006, rod wrote:

    Well at least England have won something this series...

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  7. At 01:17 AM on 28 Dec 2006, m russell wrote:

    i have a friend called clive daniels and he wishes to know if he can join the BLF or because he has a goatee he has to set up his own beard appriciation club

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  8. At 01:28 AM on 28 Dec 2006, navyou420 wrote:

    fahim mate, this isnt the nobel peace prize dat monty has won, take a chill pill, people from around the world were selected, its not about religon or anything

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  9. At 01:44 AM on 28 Dec 2006, Victor wrote:

    When was the last time there was only one LBW decision in the first two innings of an England Test match? Have the umpires been told to reinterpret the rules?

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  10. At 01:54 AM on 28 Dec 2006, Pete wrote:

    Wahey! An English cricketer has won something this year! He'll be the only one but atleast it's a start!

    If anyone knows how to join the BLF, post it as a comment!

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  11. At 02:04 AM on 28 Dec 2006, Mark a wrote:

    "At least this is one title the Aussies can't take away..."

    What about Shane Warne's effort for next year's award - I'm sure he'll fulfil the residency requirement.

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  12. At 02:55 AM on 28 Dec 2006, avtar singh sandhu wrote:

    I find it pretty insulting to be honest.

    Some people may find it funny but why is BBC giving such an award coverage is beyond me.

    It is not related to sport or anything meaningful.

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  13. At 03:35 AM on 28 Dec 2006, bablu wrote:

    " Its really nice to look his beard but will the western girl like it ? I just want to see him as a great bolwer of england all others is optional"

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  14. At 03:57 AM on 28 Dec 2006, musicalhamster wrote:

    " At 02:55 AM on 28 Dec 2006, avtar singh sandhu wrote:

    I find it pretty insulting to be honest."

    On what basis is it pretty insulting?? He chooses to have a beard, albeit for religious reasons at least. Especially because of his religion, I'd imagine he's probably pretty proud of it!

    Don't see how it's insulting at all! And the BBC is giving coverage to it because it's amusing, and there's nothing for England to smile about in this test series. In all honesty, we've been terrible. 78-4 right now, give it 10 minutes and it'll be 5. 12 minutes and it'll be 6 given that Read's next in....

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  15. At 04:13 AM on 28 Dec 2006, Allan Bazilio wrote:

    A sorry performance by england especially in the 2nd test.(that was the series) I thought that the celebrations came too soon and lasted too long having won a very, very close series last year in england.

    The former players should have told them that the real "test" would be Down Under.

    My view is that the side is an overrated one and england are yet to effectively replaced Thorpe, Butcher and Hussein in the middle.

    The middle is mutch too brittle not to mention the fragile opening slots.

    The captaincy has had a negative effect on Flintoff's all-round ability.

    Pitersen should bat at no:3 and Bell at no:5.(he is definately not a no.3

    With hard work the bowling will get 20 wickets against any side.


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  16. At 04:21 AM on 28 Dec 2006, Tim wrote:

    At a time when ethnic and religious tensions are (supposedly) tearing at the very fabric of British society, I think it's pretty cool that a Sikh and a Muslim have offered England fans some of the few sparks of hope in an otherwise disappointing series. Monty's the first Anglo-Sikh superstar, Avtar - don't look a gift horse in the mouth.

    (That said, I do agree with Fahim that Yusuf's beard is rather more impressive in and of itself. Better luck next year, hairy guy!)

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  17. At 06:41 AM on 28 Dec 2006, arran de moubray wrote:

    spare a thought for me, more-like. I bet my house on england not beating their first innings score

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  18. At 07:21 AM on 28 Dec 2006, rod wrote:

    one tequila

    two tequila

    three trequila

    FOUR!!!!!!!!!

    and a nil...


    Are there any more pop concerts for the english to go to or will they have to console themselves on a private yacht on sydney harbour for the NYE fireworks...

    And i hear the Australians will be practicing, because they havebn't quite got things right... oh dear.

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  19. At 07:30 AM on 28 Dec 2006, Bobfrombev wrote:

    Well done Monty lets hope your ambitious and aspire to beard of the decade and finger spinner of the century we all know who holds the wrist spinner title.

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  20. At 08:44 AM on 28 Dec 2006, samsam wrote:

    to arran de moubray ,

    o, you have just lost your house by two run.... poor poms...

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  21. At 08:50 AM on 28 Dec 2006, Ron wrote:

    It certainly puts lesser feats like 700 test wickets into perspective. I suppose a trip to the palace and "Arise, Sir Monty" will come next.

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  22. At 09:05 AM on 28 Dec 2006, Ivor Davies wrote:

    Next time send the Granton Road School team from Streatham

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  23. At 09:22 AM on 28 Dec 2006, David Holmes wrote:

    Shame he didn't play in the first few tests. England would have won for sure :S ...jokes ...The king of beards aye ?

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  24. At 09:40 AM on 28 Dec 2006, Chris Michael wrote:

    You can't smash England into the ground - if you look at the Aussie scorecard, apart from two players, it is utterly abysmal. And, I know I'm not allowed to say this, but if Rudy Koertzen's lbw decisions had gone our way we'd all be sporting bright smiles.

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  25. At 11:21 AM on 28 Dec 2006, Stuart wrote:

    Stayed up until Flintoff was out...went to put my beer glass away and Mahmood had gone.

    Didn't see much application or as has been said, desire to play for the shirt.

    Atherton in J'Burg....Tavare, Boycott. Where was the bulldog spirit?

    Hats off to the Aussies, they only just lost last year despite being off their boil. We were arrogant to believe we could pull this one off if you leave your brains at home.

    Always wanted Strauss to be Captain but don't think the smaller things really made that much of a difference.

    If they could, would the Aussies swap any of their players for any of ours?

    Some of the great batting line-ups would make me think..."How are we going to get through that lot?"

    Warne allegedly said "one more and we're into the tail" when we were 3 down.

    Depressing but at least the torture's nearly over.

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  26. At 11:24 AM on 28 Dec 2006, Rannyroo wrote:

    CHRIS MICHAEL: You are DREAMING....

    If Rudi's LBW decisions had gone ENG way, Australia would simply have bat again and STILL beaten you. At least this way, the pain was short and sweet.


    Rudi was quite nice to some of your little bous today too, don't forget...

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  27. At 11:48 AM on 28 Dec 2006, Laurence Marks wrote:

    I thought the award "botY" meant Bowler of the year but obviously not !

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  28. At 11:53 AM on 28 Dec 2006, Jimy wrote:

    I think Monty has been shown to be a good spinner, but not as great as his hype suggests. As an Aussie I think its great watching him enthusiastically celebrate his wickets, however he seems a lot quieter when its another English bowler making the breakthroughs. Is he playing for the team or playing for Monty? Watch every Australian celebrate a wicket of their team mates and you can see eleven players who give everything for the team first.

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  29. At 03:15 PM on 28 Dec 2006, Dave the Bass wrote:

    A big thank you to the England and Wales Test and County Cricket Board (bored?) for awarding the TV contract for Test Cricket to Sky. It has meant I have got some sleep and have not had to watch the demise of English cricket of which my Aussie friends remind me contsntly!

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  30. At 04:54 PM on 28 Dec 2006, Wadood wrote:

    Congrats to Monty...!

    but i certainly feels that M.Yousaf(from Pakistan)
    deserves to be the winner of this beard contest in cricket.
    He has got a handsome beard of all.
    and overall he is a better cricketer than monty!

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  31. At 05:28 PM on 28 Dec 2006, Ian Shaw wrote:

    After England's magnificect display in winning the Ashes, many of us Scots said what agreat result it was (albeit somewhat grudingly).

    What a mistake!

    Roll on the Calcutta Cup

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  32. At 05:30 PM on 28 Dec 2006, Ian Shaw wrote:

    After England's magnificect display in winning the Ashes, many of us Scots said what a great result it was (albeit somewhat grudingly).

    What a mistake!

    Roll on the Calcutta Cup

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  33. At 05:31 PM on 28 Dec 2006, Ian Shaw wrote:

    After England's magnificect display in winning the Ashes, many of us Scots said what a great result it was (albeit somewhat grudgingly).

    What a mistake!

    Roll on the Calcutta Cup

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  34. At 05:39 PM on 28 Dec 2006, hello by by wrote:

    hello bbc how u doin put some better films on next year at xmas tyme!!!!
    o yeah no complaints about it its ok but pirates of pakistan is shit

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  35. At 07:55 PM on 28 Dec 2006, Dave Harris wrote:

    Yeah, a "glimmer of good news". Because of course that's what cricket's all about, isn't it? We're so poor on the field tha the only speck of positive news is something that's totally unrelated to cricket.

    I went to sleep on Boxing Day to the sound of Geoffrey Boycott lamenting how poorly Andrew Symonds was batting, and how much he'd love to bowl at him, and woke up to him with a big century and no mention of the early footwork... how quickly you forget, Geoff, eh?

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  36. At 10:25 PM on 28 Dec 2006, mit wrote:

    "okay weird"

    thre's more players than monty panesar

    Hashim Amla (south Africa)

    Mohammed Yousuf (Pakistan)

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  37. At 04:00 AM on 29 Dec 2006, Paul French wrote:

    If you don't want further humiliations, I suggest that you do not end-off such editorials with remarks like "at least this is one title the Aussies can't take away...."

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  38. At 05:21 PM on 29 Dec 2006, Sylvia wrote:

    Poor fellow, comparing him to a tyrant dictator who has killed many due to his policies. He deserves better. Plus Castro barely has had a beard for some time and the little one he has is gray, he should had been off the list ten years ago

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  39. At 08:43 AM on 30 Dec 2006, Theo Hastings wrote:

    England have some pretty good pedigree with beards. After all the good doctor Grace had a woolly beard as did one incarnation of Mike Brearly. Beefy's heroics in 1981 were done with something resembling a beard and then there was Gatt in 1987 with his goatee.

    The beard is to English cricket what the moustache is to Australia....

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  40. At 12:07 PM on 31 Dec 2006, Jack wrote:

    Good old Monty - atlesat our cricket team has won something this year! I think he will comfably win the beard growing competion in the team next time we tour and do it as a team-building exercise. Wonder what he thinks of it though?

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  41. At 01:39 AM on 01 Jan 2007, Tim wrote:

    Is there no end to trvia awards ( Panaser Beard of the Year ) ? Suggest all involved stixck to work in hand ( saving face against the over tjhe hill Aussies ) rather than spend time on deflecting all of us against the realitires of life - we are 2nd best versus Oz ?

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  42. At 04:23 AM on 01 Jan 2007, Dali wrote:

    Isnt that a bit off? The guy has a beard because of his religious beliefs. It most certainly isn't a fashion appendage. The dumbing down of world wide media is complete. Jesus! What next?, turban of the year? Foreskin of the year cut or un-cut YOU DECIDE, text your answer to blah blah blah. I think Channel 4 will buy that show...

    Pretty damn shabby and offensive lads.

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  43. At 04:28 AM on 01 Jan 2007, Dali wrote:

    Oh and "fantastic news for Monty" I almost wet myself.

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  44. At 02:03 AM on 03 Jan 2007, andy Wells wrote:

    How to make a poor English test cricket team...a simple guide:
    Rule 1: Always ensure that your captain is your best player and that he is the focus of the media 24/7. This way tou can always ensure stress on performance.
    Rule 2. Make sure that all opening experienced test batsmen have little to do with anything after their twenty minute openings. except maybe the daily mail and a couple of gins!

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  45. At 10:20 AM on 09 Jan 2007, monty wrote:

    he is my idol

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  46. At 11:28 AM on 07 Feb 2007, Sohbet wrote:

    It would be nice to have a spellchecker there to remind people to check their spelling

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