Monty~~s grandpa didn~~t wanted him play

Published: Friday, March 10, 2006, 23:53 [IST]
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London:If Monty Panesar's grandfather had his way then the left-arm spinner would have been working for the Indian Railways but the 78-year-old Hari Singh is happy that his grandson chose to follow his dreams and ended up becoming the first Sikh to play for England.

''When he first started playing cricket I told him to stop,'' Hari Singh told the Independent.

''If he wanted to do something it must be work. But he did not agree. He said his future was in cricket. But he said if he was not selected he would go for the work. This was five months ago,' he added.

Mr Singh said he had given a stern warning to his ''beautiful boy'' that cricket was not his calling and he should work towards getting a job.

''After he completed graduation I told him, better you search for a job and start working not cricket. Maybe now he doesn't need a job,'' he said.

But even Mr Singh knew that his grandson's physical attributes were that of an athlete.

''Even when I saw him for the first time (at the age of five) he looked like a sportsman. His hands and legs were strong and he had an athletic figure.'' He said that he had little interest in the game until Monty started playing but missed his debut wicket due to a power cut.

''I was excited about Monty's first wicket because Sachin Tendulkar is the best batsman. But when I was watching the match the electricity was discontinued. When Monty got the wicket I didn't know. My son, working in New Zealand, had to call me. He said Monty took a wicket. Sachin Tendulkar,'' Mr Singh said.

The proud grandfather says he wants Monty to do well and hopes that the rest of the country wants the same. Mr Singh said he was not bothered about the result of the series because his only concern is to see Monty do well.

''I don't care who he plays for as long as he plays very well. I don't care who wins,'' he said.

He also revealed that Monty prefers to stay in England and does not like coming to India.

''He is different. He doesn't like coming to India. I don't know why. I think he prefers England,'' he said.


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