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'Tendulkar's wicket felt like 100'

Monty's father said he was 'so very happy' that it was his son who got the maestro.

india Updated: Mar 09, 2006 17:10 IST

When England left-arm spinner Monty Panesar dismissed Sachin Tendulkar for his maiden wicket in the first Test against India in Nagpur it was like he had taken 100 wickets, his father said at Mohali on Thursday.

"When he claimed Sachin's wicket we were so very happy that it seemed to me like he had taken 100 wickets - it was so important," Paramjit Singh Panesar said as he watched the first day's play of the second Test against India along with his family members.

Paramjit, who has a real estate business in Luton, Bedfordshire in England, also clarified that he would support his son and his team England at all costs.

"There is no doubt about that. I will 100 percent support my son and England," Paramjit told IANS, while pointing to the Union Jack on his white T-shirt.

And as if to show on whose side he was, Paramjit wore a T-shirt with 'England' emblazoned on it.

But when asked if in his heart of hearts, is there still any loyalty left for India, he admitted: "I am from India, after all. That thing will always be there."

When Monty came close to being selected for England, Paramjit said he was just a wee but sceptical about his selection.

"For anyone from outside who is trying to play for England, there is always this little scepticism whether the selection would be biased against that person," he said.

Gursharan, their daughter Charanjit, and Monty's paternal grandparents accompanied Paramjit to make it a group of about 28 family members at the Punjab Cricket Association Stadium.

Charanjit also wore a T-shirt with 'England' written across it.

Paramjit said that his son took to cricket game after watching him play. "I used to play for the Luton Tech College," said the youthful-looking 50-year-old father of 23-year-old Monty. He then asked: "Do I look like 50 years old?"

Monty, who has also represented the British Universities of Loughborough and Northamptonshire, made history when he became the first Sikh to be picked in the England team for the tour of India.

The left-armer, who does not wear the traditional patka but ties his long hair in a bandana, made his Test debut in Nagpur and had Tendulkar leg before for his first wicket at the highest level. In all, he bagged three wickets in the drawn match.

Paramjit and his family - but minus his other son Ishar - watched the Test on television in England before arriving in India Sunday. Paramjit, along with his family, earlier visited Ludhiana to meet his parents and then Yamuna Nagar to meet his wife's family.

First Published: Mar 09, 2006 17:10 IST