The other day, I found this woman falling head over heels over Virat Kohli's beard. I told her, it is his game that makes him awesome. She did not deny it either but felt the beard added to his personality. That's when I thought, Beards may have become a sudden global outrage today but they have always been a special part of the game of Cricket.
From WG Grace, Mike Brearly to Saeed Anwar, Hashim Amla to the current brigade of Indian Cricket team, many players have sported or are sporting beards lending the gentleman’s game a lot of machismo.
The bearded brotherhood was at its best when Virat and Jadhav won us the game with their fantastic partnership. Even in the recently concluded India vs England Test series when India clean-sweeped the series 4-0 with ten bearded men in the playing 11. Notably, England’s best-performing player too was Moeen Ali- 'the beard that is feared’!
Though William Grace and Daniel Vettori (in the latter half of his career) have been my all-time favourite cricketers whose beards were as legendary as their sporting skills but seeing the current breed of cricketers, looks like we don’t have a dearth of talent either for sports or beards.
Here's who's who of the bearded world of cricket:
Virat Kohli and Kedar Jadhav along with the current Indian team:
As captain of the current Indian team in all formats of the game, Virat Kohli’s beard suits his aggressive game to the core. Kohli’s all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja too always does well to support his captain both in curating ploys to get the opposition and also in curating that full beard. Kedar Jadhav's extended goatee did get the desired respect yesterday for the fabulous innings. Only a man of utmost maturity and experience could have delivered that performance. What a knock!
Call him WG, Doctor or The Legend, Grace was one of the most fearsome cricketers of Victorian England, thanks to his batting prowess and his prodigious whiskerage. With Bandholz Beard style, Grace has many firsts to his name including first 1000 runs; first, two triple-centuries in first-class cricket; first (and probably only) man to replace the bails after being bowled and carry on his innings; and first Englishman to make a century on debut.
It was said that his beard was so big he batted through it. Don't ask me how! Cricketing fans in England and Australia sport fake beards in memory of the great man till this date.
Fast time forward, from the same soil, comes Moeen Ali. Born in Birmingham, this all-rounder was named, 'the beard that is feared’ by Ben Stokes on Twitter after an incredible tonne scored in England’s Test match against Pakistan.
Though his beard has roots in religious beliefs, he has received an immense amount of support from Edgbaston.
Vettori’s full beard in the latter half of his career complemented his bespectacled look well. It gave the spinner the appearance of a serious artist at work.
England’s Mike Brearley was clean-shaven for most of his career. However, he decided to grow Beard in 1970's and earned himself a nickname 'Ayatollah’ after the bearded Iranian leader at the time.
Sporting a fine example of a beard at only 23 years, Kane Richardson is Australia’s cricketer who once said, “It’s easier not to have one, you don’t want to look too shaggy, too hairy. It’s hard work.”
Yousuf Youhana aka Mohammad Yousuf
We wouldn’t say that it was his beard that made Mohammad Yousuf one of the best Pakistani batsmen of all time. But surely, that luxurious whiskerage added, even more, grace to Yousuf’s skilful wrist play.
This South African undoubtedly sports one of the best beards in the modern-day cricket. Amla's prolific facial hair is all the more striking because of the lack of hair on top of his head.