Kids Corner


Monty Royale

by Vishavjit Singh

As a Sikh American I don't follow cricket. We have football - the one where the ball rarely makes contact with the foot - and we have basketball and baseball. All of this changed when Mudhsuden Singh, aka Monty, made his grand entrance on the English cricket scene. I follow cricket now. Actually, only English cricket to be precise.

As the first Sikh to play on the English cricket squad, Monty has made quite a splash. He has been touted as the future of English spin bowling attack. In the world of sports we are used to such prognostications by the experts. Many a sportsperson has appeared on the sporting scene with loads of talent and promise.

But Montymania has a special flavor to it. Barely having the time to fullfill the expectations placed on his lanky shoulders, Monty has already signed a whopping quarter-million pound autobiography deal. A similar deal can be expected from the retiring Shayne Warne who has displayed his genius for a few tangible years. Monty made it to the shortlist for the BBC sportsperson of the year. The media attention showered on Monty so early in his career is quite disproportionate of any Asian cricketer ever to play on the English squad.

All of this mania has swept non-cricketing fans like myself off our feet, even across the Atlantic. I have been following the Ashes religiously now. Monty's exclusion from the first two test matches was enraging to me, as it was for millions of fans and sporting experts around the world.

I have sometimes wondered if the English coach, who is of South African descent, begrudgingly declared Monty as the best finger spinner in the world, only to keep him on the sidelines for the first two test matches. I am very well aware of his reservations about Monty's batting and fielding skills but I wonder if the color of Monty's skin has something to do with it. I can see herds coming to the Coach's defence but we might never know. This is where Monty scores big as well. No matter what people say of him, he has one of the strongest work ethic - and this is in the words of his fellow team mates!

Monty has still to prove his worth and talent but he has won over many English, Australian, cricketing and even some American hearts, with his youthful, vibrant energy. As an editorial cartoonist, I have been complelled to create four cartoons based on Monty mania this year and it appears there are many more to come.

There is one more wish Monty needs to fulfill. Wearing his Sikh turban and getting a tuxedo on. Craig Smith proved he was Bond worthy of filling a tux in Casino Royale. Monty looks no less sexy as Monty Royale!

Conversation about this article

1: Prableen Chowdhary (Silver Spring), April 19, 2007, 4:15 PM.

This may be your best work yet, Vishavjit Singh!

2: Jatbir Singh (Kolkata), May 08, 2007, 12:33 AM.

Really good. Keep ut the good work.

3: Sardar Singh (Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.A.), July 25, 2007, 12:03 AM.

Monty is the best!

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