UK's Sikh spinner excites locals
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UK's Sikh spinner excites locals

Left-arm spinner Monty Panesar has excited locals from his hometown of Ludhiana.

india Updated: Mar 09, 2006 12:05 IST

Left-arm spinner Monty Panesar, who launched his Test career last week with the prized wicket of Sachin Tendulkar, will try to put up a memorable performance in front of his parents and grandparents who are expected to watch the second Test starting here Thursday.

After Panesar, the first Sikh to play for England, dismissed Tendulkar as his maiden Test victim on his debut in the drawn first Test in Nagpur, the master batsman presented his bat to him and also signed the willow.

The prospect of Paneasr, who has his roots in Ludhiana city of Punjab, playing in Mohali has excited the locals, who were heard talking about the spinner.

Apart from his immediate family members, some friends are also expected to turn up at the Punjab Cricket Association Stadium over the next five days, said Panesar.

"I don't know how many friends and family will be coming to watch the Test but certainly quite a few," he told

"It's very nice to be playing a Test match in the state (Punjab) where my family comes from, but my main focus will have to be the cricket and trying to help England," Panesar said.

Although Mudhsuden Singh Panesar, to write his full name, took only three wickets in Nagpur, they were crucial wickets. And he began it all with the scalp of Tendulkar, and added the wickets of captain Rahul Dravid and Mohammed Kaif, who scored a fine 91.

The 23-year-old Luton-born player made his first-class debut in 2001 and has earned the England cap through sheer hard work. After having represented Bedfordshire, he turned out for Northamptonshire. On his first-class debut against Leicestershire, Panesar bagged eight for 131 to leave an instant impression.

He also played for the England under-19 side before being picked for the tour of India.

First Published: Mar 09, 2006 12:05 IST