Monty - Beard of the Year 2006
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.
This 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...