|They've come to see |
my beard not your chin
The most famous beard in cricket - and indeed probably in all sport - belongs to WG Grace, although, disappointingly, there is no evidence that he ever sculpted his beard into the shape of the Lords Pavilion.
But, while the occasional moustache could be spotted, cricket in the golden age was pretty much clean shaven and the thought of Bradman or Hobbs taking guard with any sort of stubble on their cheeks is unthinkable. A chap with a beard or any unshaven growth was obviously a chap who would swing across the line or might even indulge in sledging.
In more modern times things have changed. Nowadays there is a fashion for a 5 o'clock shadow among the England Test team which isn't really a beard but a sign of pseudo-macho-laziness-pretending-to-be-Australian. Although FB himself doesn't generally shave on match days, he thinks he would if TV cameras were to examine his every move and expose him as a scruff bucket.
During the 1970-80s beards were more acceptable in wider society and cricket followed suit with many players bearded notably Botham and Border. And the West Indians all had these wispy Bob Marley/Andy Roberts style beards. It was at this time that Gillette gave up their sponsorship of the game. But these beards were clipped and couldn't be sculpted into a model of anything.
|FB - makes a save|
|******* Hick, |
call that a ******* beard
The greatest beard in world cricket today is without doubt that of S African Hashim Amla. He can sculpt his beard into classic innings in all forms of the game.
|Amla - another sculpted century|
But the greatest bearded asset of all time to cricket must be Bill Frindall, MBE, TMS scorer from the dawns of time until his untimely death in 2009. He could sculpt his beard into any statistic in cricket without looking up CricInfo and devised his own patent scoring system. He was correctly known as the Bearded Wonder. A national treasure.
|The Bearded Wonder|