Monty Panesar First Sikh Cricketer Chosen for England Team

January 27, 2006

Source: Canoe

Wire Service: AP

On January 27, 2006 the Associated Press reported, "Left-arm spinner Monty Panesar became the first Sikh to win a call-up to the England cricket squad Friday when he earned a Test spot for the upcoming tour of India. Panesar, 23, whose parents come from the Punjab region of northern India, has represented England at under-19 level. He plays with county side Northamptonshire, where last season he took 46 wickets at an average of 21.54. 'Monty has done very well for Northamptonshire over a period of time and I am sure he will be really excited at the prospect of touring India,' England chairman of selectors David Graveney said. Panesar will be the first England player to wear a turban on the cricket field. He grew up in Luton, north of London. 'I'm not the first Asian cricketer to play for England,' Panesar said. 'There have been others who have achieved far more than I have. It's not a burden for me and I'm there to play my cricket. I'm proud of being the first Sikh to play for England, but my focus is on the cricket and that's what I'm there for - I'm a cricketer from Luton and I just love playing my cricket.'"