Full beard nets an award for Monty!

Panesar has beaten the likes of Cuban leader Fidel Castro and Inzamam-ul Haq to win the "Beard of the Year 2006" award.

india Updated: Jan 02, 2007 19:32 IST

England's star spinner Monty Panesar has beaten the likes of Cuban leader Fidel Castro and Pakistan captain Inzamam-ul Haq to win the "Beard of the Year 2006" award.

Panesar, the first Sikh ever to play for England, said he had never shaved in his life and the award, though a "bizarre" one, had come as a pleasant surprise.

"I picked up one bizarre award this week - apparently, I'm Beard of the Year 2006, which I found out about a couple of days ago. I guess I wasn't too much aware of it, but it's nice to get an award for something I've kept since I was 16," he said.

"There are lots of people with great beards out there. I guess I've never shaved, so I'm reaping the rewards now," a bemused cricketer was quoted as saying by a website.

Castro finished second while Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams and veteran trade union leader Paul Mackney were tied for the third place after a vote by the members of Beard Liberation Front (BLF), an informal network of beard wearers.

Other nominees for this year's award included author Bill Bryson, broadcaster Bill Frindall, politician George Galloway, journalist Christopher Howse, broadcaster Brian Perkins, author Terry Pratchett, actor Ricky Tomlinson, Jimmy Wales of Wikipedia and musician Robert Wyatt.

First Published: Jan 02, 2007 19:32 IST