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We celebrate beards and moustaches in cricket

Nishi Narayanan  |  

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Movember is a movement that seeks to raise money and awareness about men's health issues, and provides a good excuse to throw your razors away. But if you have noticed, facial hair - from carefully cultivated stubble to thick, stylised beards - has been in fashion for at least five years now. Even cricketers have caught on. The Indian players are virtually indistinguishable from each other, Kane Williamson has the ability to grow a neck beard, and David Warner has a respectable looking 'tache, possibly to give him a more serious-minded look.

Those are all good tries, but the '70s remain the sexiest decade for facial hair in cricket, ammirright? Granted, there are no beards in this photo of the Australian squad from 1975, but look at the droops and the 'burns.

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But before they preen too much, let's dial back a hundred years or so and admire the efforts of this set of Australian gents. Wonder if the artist took the liberty to add volume to some of those beards, though.

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Could any other 'mo hold a candle to former Australian batsman Syd Gregory's? Probably just as well, given the amount of wax that must have gone into getting it to hold that shape.

Anesh Debiky / © AFP

You need to work harder, son.

Graham Chadwick / © PA Photos

Merv Hughes gets all up in David Boon's business. What's the social protocol around touching another human being's hairy upper lip?

George Stroud/Daily Express / © Getty Images

Sometimes less is more, as Ajit Wadekar announces on arrival in England in 1971, when India went on to win their first series in the country.

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Former England wicketkeeper Godfrey Evans was the inspiration behind the Wolverine look.

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And I'm just going to say what everyone else is thinking: Ricky Ponting's early 1990s goatee was obviously the inspiration behind Kevin Richardson's Backstreet Boys look. Though '90s-era Ponting was more AJ than Kevin in vibe.

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Speaking of musicians, can someone tell Justin Timberlake that this is how you bring sexy back? I mean, Andy Roberts (left) isn't even trying and he's got you by your soul. And Viv, as if he needed any facial hair to accentuate that jawline.

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Recognise this fella? Usually the cummerbund is pressed into doing far more work. WG Grace with the beard, minus the belly.

Michael Bradley / © AFP

A beard nearly as famous as Grace's is Hashim Amla's. And as you can see, with proper care, you can make it do your work for you.

Bradley Kanaris / © Getty Images

These Australians will go to any lengths with their mind games. Doug Bollinger tries imitating a scarecrow with fungal growth to get a wicket.

Paul Harding / © PA Photos

A number of Pakistani players in recent years have sported luxuriant beards - Saeed Anwar, Saqlain Mushtaq, Mushtaq Ahmed and even Inzamam-ul-Haq. But Misbah-ul-Haq's is possibly the most stylish. Clean-shaven Misbah looks like a PTA dad. Bearded Misbah looks like a PTA dad who will sing a self-composed song at karaoke nights (about the pain of not quite getting to the fastest Test hundred record) and make you his special artisanal tea blend for when you need to calm down after a round of meetings with the PCB.

Daniel Kalisz / © Getty Images

Let's wrap it up by acknowledging the efforts of the young brigade. Australians Kane Richardson (left) and Andrew Tye prompt us to pose the eternal question: is your face half-full or half-empty of hair?

Nishi Narayanan is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo