Monty Panesar is England's cricket icon

Monty Panesar, the first Sikh to play for England, has become an icon and poster boy of cricket here after he captured eight wickets last week in England's Test match victory over Pakistan at Old Trafford.

The oldest of three children, whose parents emigrated from Punjab, Madhusuden "Monty" Panesar Singh, 24, still lives with his family near the Luton and Dunstable Hospital and commutes to play for England and his county, Northamptonshire.

As popular for his eccentricity as his guile with the ball, Monty is a frontrunner to bag the BBC Sports Personality of the Year award and could even rival boxer Amir Khan as the most popular British Asian sportsman.

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