Russia may not know much of the Great Game but when it comes to hair there is, apparently, nowhere better than the steppes for producing the rethatching material for cricket's great and good who, after a lifetime of caps and sunhats, have discovered they are going a bit thin on top.
Michael Vaughan is joining a stellar cast: Shane Warne, Graham Gooch, Martin Crowe and Greg Matthews are among a lengthy list of cricketers and sportsmen – in Ireland it's Shamrock Rovers "ace" Noel Mooney – who have had their fading locks restored to former glories. And they owe their resurrected plumages to Russians, the producers of the "finest quality hair," according to Carl Howell, founder and chairman of Advanced Hair Studio.
The process goes like this: a Russian grows his or her hair, it's then "farmed" and over a period of months and several treatments grafted on to the lucky recipient. "It's like losing a tooth," says Howell, "if you lose one you get it replaced."
For some reason, it has proved popular among cricketers, and, it is said, particularly so among the current Australian side. Several of them – perhaps having torn out clumps while losing the Ashes – are believed to have undergone the treatment, but chosen not to go public. Any thoughts, Ricky?