In the previous episode, we had seen how the moustache had made a comeback in the 1970s and the 1980s after decades of obscurity. The Indians played a prolific role in the resurgence, but the Pakistanis were not to be left back, either. The most thickset of them belonged to Sarfraz Nawaz and Javed Miandad, but others were not too far behind. In Pakistan, the moustache continued till the 1990s. Another prominent moustachioed Pakistani was Tauseef Ahmed, whose similarity with Lionel Richie was impossible to miss.

Sarfraz Nawaz, Sadiq Mohammad, Javed Miandad, Saleem Malik, Rameez Raja, and Tauseef Ahmed © Getty Images
Sarfraz Nawaz, Sadiq Mohammad, Javed Miandad, Saleem Malik, Rameez Raja, and Tauseef Ahmed © Getty Images

There was also an English contingency, a quite formidable one. I am not even including Hemmings (who has been discussed) and a contender for a World XI here.

Allan Lamb, Ian Botham, Robin Smith, and Jack Russell © Getty Images
Allan Lamb, Ian Botham, Robin Smith, and Jack Russell © Getty Images

Despite these excellent attempts, three works of art stand out from the era. In fact, had moustaches had a hall of fame, all three would have made it.

Maintaining a Zapata is not easy, but Graham Gooch did a stupendous job of it. So enviable was Gooch’s bushy moustache that it was almost impossible to believe that he had started off clean-shaven. It is a shame that he went back to that in his post-retirement days.

Graham Gooch with his Zapata © Getty Images
Graham Gooch with his Zapata © Getty Images

It is difficult to tell whether David Boon would have been as popular without his famous moustache. I would want to call it a walrus, but purists would probably reject the classification on the grounds that it is not sufficiently shaggy.

David Boon © Getty Images
David Boon © Getty Images

In the illustrious history of the mo, however, cricket has not found a parallel to Merv Hughes’. I know this is subjective, but there will not be many to disagree. I guess we have found a champion. Oh, and there is a rumour that the beast of a moustache has been insured for 200,000.

Merv Hughes: forever The Master © Getty Images
Merv Hughes: forever The Master © Getty Images

The 1990s saw moustaches emerge and disappear. It is interesting, how several cricketers did away with theirs as they aged. These men were, for some reason, mostly Asians.

From left: Mohammad Azharuddin, Waqar Younis, Anil Kumble, Sourav Ganguly, Javagal Srinath, and Azhar Mahmood © Getty Images
From left: Mohammad Azharuddin, Waqar Younis, Anil Kumble, Sourav Ganguly, Javagal Srinath, and Azhar Mahmood © Getty Images

At this point cricket was spreading its wings around the globe. With the diversification of geography, several unhesitant moustache-brandishers arrived on the scene with displays of various shapes and sizes.

Top, from left: Faruk Ahmed, Dave Houghton, Steven Lubbers, Aasif Karim Bottom, from left: Akram Khan, Asim Butt, Nicholas Ifill, Melt van Schoor © Getty Images
Top, from left: Faruk Ahmed, Dave Houghton, Steven Lubbers, Aasif Karim
Bottom, from left: Akram Khan, Asim Butt, Nicholas Ifill, Melt van Schoor © Getty Images

The new millennium saw some new moustaches. The horseshoe returned, as did a few other styles. As the internet spread its wings with a plethora of images, fashion turned global. Of course, some of them did it for a cause, Movember

Adam Hollioake, Stephen Fleming, Kevin Pietersen, David Warner © Getty Images
Adam Hollioake, Stephen Fleming, Kevin Pietersen, David Warner © Getty Images

Of late, some have toyed with the idea of the moustache. Some have retained it. Others have rejected it after brief stints. Nevertheless, they deserve to be mentioned. The most iconic and intimidating of them was obviously Mitchell Johnson’s horseshoe, a throwback to the glory days.

Mitchell Johnson’s moustache probably added to the fear bit © Getty Images
Mitchell Johnson’s moustache probably added to the fear bit © Getty Images

There are some in the current crop as well, which can only give us hope. Some of them are so delectably authentic that they entice you to get nostalgic. Unfortunately, today’s boys do not seem very keen to retain them…

Colin de Grandhomme, Ravindra Jadeja, and Cheteshwar Pujara © AFP
Colin de Grandhomme © Getty Images, Ravindra Jadeja, and Cheteshwar Pujara © AFP

And here is one for the road, one who was in reckoning for some time now. Jake Lehmann may not have outdone his father in cricketing skills, but when it comes to facial hair, there is really no match.

Jake Lehmann © Getty Images
Jake Lehmann © Getty Images