Friday, August 11, 2006

BEARDED WONDER

Uniqueness of Monty is his attachment to the religion and stock he belongs to.Monty is a role model for desis living accross the globe struggling hard to understand the identity.Here is a man,British Asian of sikh faith giving hundred percent to the land where he was born . Questions of allegiance are irrelevant.He is 100% British.His returning to his roots for inspiration is phenomenal.


England's new spin-bowling hero Monty Panesar returned to his roots on Thursday and took a wicket with his first delivery.
The 24-year-old left-arm spinner was back in his hometown of Luton, 40 kilometres outside London, where he enjoyed a game with a group of young British Asians on a patch of grass in a housing estate better known for race riots than cricket.
The wickets were painted trash bins, the ball was a tennis ball with tape and the bats were bright red and made from plastic, courtesy of the visiting Urban Cricket Roadshow.
The tall, bearded Panesar, dressed in jeans and trainers, grinned back with the same pleasure he has shown in test matches against Younis Khan, the batsman he removed at Headingley this week with "the best ball I've bowled in test cricket."
"I always dreamt that I would one day play for England," Panesar, the first Sikh to play for England, told reporters. "But I never thought about popularity, or fame. I just didn't imagine it at all. I guess it is just destiny that it is going to be like this."
Panesar, who produced two successive match-winning performances against Pakistan in recent weeks, knows all about life in a tough place like the Marsh Farm estate.
He was brought up by his immigrant Indian father Paramjit, a local builder who specialises in fitting kitchens, in Wardown, a sprawl of suburbia rescued from anonymity by the quality of its cricket ground.
Panesar may follow a line of great names -- including Derek Underwood and Phil Edmonds -- as a classic spinner. But he is unique: a turban-wearing crowd-pleaser, who has worked to improve his fumbling fielding, a modest, almost bashful, man with whom all English cricket fans, but especially the Asian community, can identify.
"VERY SPECIAL"
As he spoke, surrounded by microphones, cameras and tape-recorders, he was prompted to recall his life 12 months ago as England were on their way to a first Ashes series success since 1987.
"Last year, I was just playing for Northamptonshire," he said. "But I was the same as everybody else about the Ashes series. I was so excited. I watched it on television and it was something that was obviously very special."
After taking 16 wickets to date in the series against Pakistan, Panesar is almost certain to be selected for England's defence of the Ashes in Australia.
"I'm not looking too far ahead," he said. "But I know, if selected, that it is going to be very good for my development."
His father arrived in Luton in the 1970s. A devout Sikh, he inspired Monty -- whose full name is Mudhsuden Singh Panesar -- to practise hard.
As a result, Monty won a sports scholarship from Stopsley High School in Luton to Bedford Modern, a fee-paying school with a sports pedigree. From Bedford, he won a place at Loughborough University where he studied computer sciences and continued playing cricket.
He began his career with Luton Indians and then progressed via Dunstable Town to play for Bedfordshire. At 19, he was given a winter place at the national cricket academy.
He moved to county cricket with Northamptonshire, but attributes his current success, in particular, to Australian Rodney Marsh who, during his academy days, taught Panesar the lessons that made him a test cricketer.
"MAGIC BALL"
"I used to think that the way to get someone out was to bowl a 'magic ball', but he made me realise that was wrong, that you needed to keep a tight line, control things, remain patient and use your cricket sense," said Panesar.
"He taught me a lot of cricket sense."
Marsh's down-to-earth approach has also helped the easy-going Panesar. His recent rise to fame has not affected his life, his family or his friends.
"I try to stay level-headed," he said. "Things have not changed a lot. My friends are the same with me and I am still the same old Monty at home.
"It is great to be recognised and it is good for cricket. But it is not something that has bothered me."
As a sporting graduate of Luton's Asian community, he is mindful of his responsibility as a role model.
"I am aware of it, but I am not the first Asian to play for England and I still look at others, like Nasser Hussain, as my role model," he said.
"After all, he was captain and he played 96 test matches. So, I've got a long way to go!"

http://www.supercricket.co.za/default.asp?id=187421&des=article&scat=supercricket/international

Monty and Saj, they ain't heard nothing yet by Kevin MitchellSunday August 13, 2006The Observer
http://sport.guardian.co.uk/cricket/story/0,,1843757,00.html


More and More articles are based on Monty his popularity and his religion.This was one such article appeared in Times on line by Simon Barnes

Bearded wonder who searched for the hero inside himselfBy Simon Barnes, Chief Sports Writer

HUMANKIND has a gourmandising hunger for heroes. We seek them in every walk of life. The process of growing up is a procession of heroes: every adult leaves behind a trail of heroes, outworn, outgrown, fallen, half-forgotten, some embarrassing and concealed even from oneself, others admired and respected to this day.
Robin Hood, Odysseus, Ratty, Bagheera, Tonto, Emma Peel, Doctor Dolittle, Lawrence of Arabia, Hank Marvin, M. J. K. Smith, Champion the Wonder Horse, George Best, John Lennon, Bobby Charlton, Wesley Hall, Che Guevara, Ludwig van Beethoven, James Joyce, Modesty Blaise, David Attenborough, Reepicheep . . . just a few of my heroes from school-days. I could fill this page up entirely if I listed all the heroes of my life, and most of the next page as well.

Naturally, one’s relationship with a hero changes in maturity, from fervent worship and an attempt to comb one’s hair the same way to an acknowledgment of a hero’s fallibility and humanity — things which, with a grown-up’s perspective, add to rather than detract from heroic status.
One of the principal reasons for the viability of professional sport — that is to say, sport as something to watch, rather than something to do — is because sport is better than anything else in modern life at providing heroes.
Not role models. A hero is something quite different, a person whose virtues we revel in, whose failures pain us, a person we identify with without seriously trying to become. Wayne Rooney is not a role model. There has not been an epidemic of balls-stomping since the World Cup. No, he is a flawed, failed hero and his search for redemption will enthral over the course, if we are lucky, of the next four years.
But the failure of Rooney to become a hero basking in personal success this year has left a vacuum in national life. Our hunger for heroes abhors a vacuum and so, astonishingly and gloriously, we have the emergence of Monty Panesar as England’s hero of the summer.
His story is perhaps more remarkable than David Beckham’s. Beckham was the man burnt in saronged effigy who became a national hero. It is a story of re-acceptance. Panesar’s was a struggle for acceptance.
A Sikh playing for the England cricket team, with the Kesh or uncut hair, was always going to stand out from the rest. I saw him step into Test-match cricket this spring, in India, of all places, the place of his ancestors for all that he is Luton-bred. And at once, two things were apparent about him. He couldn’t field but he couldn’t half bowl.
The fielding thing seemed to me to stem not from a lack of self-confidence but from an overdose of self-consciousness. Playing for England in India behind a beard of genuine beauty is a hard thing to do and the situation seemed to provoke an attack of the yips. Symptoms included the most hapless dropped catch I have ever seen outside Tewin Irregulars.
But ask Panesar to bowl and all trace of embarrassment vanished. He was at once master of the situation and of his craft. It was an extraordinary contrast: in one moment, all thumbs and please don’t let the ball come to me, the next, facing the world’s greatest players of spin bowling, and it was all come and have a go if you think you’re hard enough. His first Test victim was Sachin Tendulkar.
But his early appearances back in England troubled me. Not because of Panesar but because of the crowds, who seemed determined to make him into a figure of fun. A clown. I found this painful, for I had already found some aspects of the hero in Panesar as I saw him in India.
This was not good-natured banter, it was mockery. And the mockers of this world love to destroy the things that are beyond their reach. His every touch was cheered not to encourage, but to sneer. Panesar played his first Test matches in England in front of boozy Englishmen willing him to fail.
He has risen above this most wonderfully. People came to the cricket wearing false beards and black scarves in mockery; they continued wearing them out of affection and growing admiration. The exoticism of the Sikh became something homely, something to inspire a little cheerful patriotism.
Panesar brought this about in a number of ways. His preference for a black scarf over the traditional patka with top-knot seemed an expression of a personal style rather than the adoption of a uniform. His batting was relieved of its comic-book status when he played a gorgeous slogging tailender’s knock against Sri Lanka, sweeping Muttiah Muralitharan for six in the process. His fielding lost its self-consciousness — he is far from unco-ordinated — and in the past match he held a very decent catch.
But the key to it all has been his primary skill. He has played a crucial role in the winning of the past two Test matches for England, one on a helpful pitch, the other on the least helpful pitch in the country for a spinner. He attacks with relish but he can also give a captain control of one end and thus of a match.
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,426-2307795,00.html


Panesar spins his way from possible risk to key figure Mike SelveyThursday August 10, 2006The Guardian
Duncan Fletcher is not a man of extremes. For public consumption he praises conditionally and is loth to criticise; fences are for sitting on, the middle of the road for driving down. His music tastes might stretch to Abba, magnolia be his favourite colour. So, when he talks of Monty Panesar being the world's leading finger-spinner, he might have driven through Damascus on the way home from Headingley. As an unlikely expression of sentiment it is up there with Tony Blair apologising. The conversion from doubter to Monty maniac is almost complete.

Fletcher is a fellow who by habit will look on a glass as half-empty rather than half-full and, since Panesar's elevation to the England side last winter, it is the spinner's shortcomings with bat and in the field, rather than potential with the ball, that have occupied the coach's attention. A brilliant performance in spin bowling's equivalent of Death Valley this past week, attritional in the first innings, aggressive in the second, appears to have swayed the hangdog coach towards the view that he might just have a genius on his hands.
Panesar's six wickets, and the manner of their collection, put to shame the efforts of England spinners at Headingley over the past decade, where they have been as surplus to requirement as a copy of the Talmud would be to Mel Gibson. Since Panesar's debut in Nagpur (strictly on the back of the pre-Test injury to Simon Jones), Panesar has bowled immaculately in differing conditions, gaining Fletcher's approval only grudgingly and always with the same codicil.
Now he has played a significant part in winning successive Test matches and finally Fletcher has loosened his stays and said that Panesar is special. Fletcher praised Panesar's control - a quality he likes. So does a captain, Andrew Strauss more than most at the moment. In the one-day series where his leadership first came under scrutiny the side were mauled by Sri Lanka and there was little he could do about it. At Lord's, too, where he made his debut as Test captain, Strauss was hamstrung by uncertainty in his position. But Panesar's reliability gave him a banker at one end.
Since then Panesar has gone from strength to strength, almost exponentially, until at Headingley he gave an all-round performance of stunning versatility: almost 50 overs in the first innings on a flat pitch at only slightly more than two an over, many of them sent down during Pakistan's record stand against England and involving Younis Khan and Mohammad Yousuf, two of the top-four rated players in the world, and a more predatory effort when where there was some help in the second.
Panesar's place on the Ashes tour, if ever it was in doubt, has been assured. Far from being a risk, he is becoming a key figure. Fletcher saying that there is no better finger spinner at the moment in world cricket is high praise but faint with it. To be rated as such by a former sceptic is an achievement in itself.
The competition, though, it has to be said, is sparse. Daniel Vettori of New Zealand, remarkably only three years Panesar's senior has long had claim to being the best left-armer but a long-term back condition has reduced his effectiveness. South Africa's Nicky Boje is worthy but not in the same class. Ashley Giles has been on crutches. Sanath Jayasuriya a part-timer. There are no others of extended credibility in international cricket. Nor for that matter are there high-quality offspinners beyond Muttiah Muralitharan, a freak and so much more than just a finger spinner anyway, and Harbhajan Singh, who was outbowled by Panesar in India earlier this year. Monty is like a jar of caviar in Mother Hubbard's larder.
If, after the final Test next week, Panesar must gather his thoughts for the challenge in Australia, then he will do so knowing that Fletcher is still not sure about how to force a quart into a pint pot and come up with a side which balances like Blondin on a tightrope.
Success in the past two Tests has shown not only that England can win Tests with a four-man attack but also that they can do so without Andrew Flintoff. Fletcher, though, believes that for the most part -the exception might be Perth - England will need five front-line bowlers, with the consequent decision as to which of his batsmen would miss out.
"We need to find a five-man attack," he said. "That's the key to it. If we go in too often with a four-pronged attack we need a further bowler who can bowl a little bit quicker than, say, Paul Collingwood. If we get on another wicket like Lord's, that's a little bit flatter, we struggle with four bowlers."
So despite everything the implication is that Panesar might not play. In this, though, there is a crucial factor: England hold the Ashes and do not need to win. A draw on a flat pitch would serve well. Besides which, the inclusion of only four bowlers is a strategy that has served Australia well for years and, if Shane Warne has been the difference, it is not trite to say that Panesar is capable of filling that same role.

http://sport.guardian.co.uk/columnists/story/0,,1841137,00.html

Greatness of Hasim Amla and what he offered to Dean Jones for labelling him as a TERRORIST as a true , devout Muslim

"As a Muslim I have been taught to forgive people for their faults, and I certainly forgive the guy for his utterances," Amla said. "What's happened has happened."

2 Comments:

Blogger Malwinder Singh said...

Nyc blog, brother!

10 February, 2011 02:26  
Blogger RANJAN 'S SIKH AND CRICKET BLOG said...

Thanks a lot bro!!! You are most welcome.

10 February, 2011 07:03  

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