Australian Open review; COVID over shadows build up

Football has fell victim to it, cricket has fallen victim to it, now tennis is feeling the fall out of the Coronavirus. There was the infamous Belgrade tournament, which Djokovic arranged and most of the competitors ended up getting the virus.

The Australian Open, which is due to start in early February, has seen the build up to the tournament over shadowed by several players having to isolate for 14 days in their hotels due to Covid concerns. Serb Djokovic did write a letter to tournament organisers, in the aim to try and improve conditions and get organisers to relax quarantine rules.

That move by the six-time Australian Open, was badly criticised by many, but the man himself has tried to clear any misunderstandings. Former Wimbledon champion Sir Andy Murray is one high profile name, who has been affected by Covid, which further emphasises the calibre of tennis players who have been affected.

In difficult circumstances, many players have been trying to improvise and get some training in. From playing with a tennis ball against the wall or even against the mattress, one thing I know is that a young me, if I was to do the same, I would get a forehand smash to the face.

When I was a kid, I was told to not jump on the bed, but was never told to not hit a tennis ball against the mattress, I have missed a gem of my childhood, by the looks of it. The players (some of them) have had to deal with rodent infestations, not quite the Jerry out of Tom and Jerry kind.

It’s not been an ideal build up, to this years Australian Open, but this is the world of Covid19, where nothing is normal. First and foremost is the safety of the players, we wish each and every one of them well.

The Masters review

Twenty-year old Chinese star Yan Bingtao came the second youngest player to win in The Masters after beating former two-time winner John Higgins, in what proved to be a gripping final. Bingtao, who beat world number two Neil Robertson earlier in the tournament, showed he is a player for the future by displaying admirable battling qualities.

In other matches, the 20-year old won on final frame deciders, the final all though not going to a final frame decider was still hard fought. Former four-time world champion Higgins, who many thought was ‘past it’, silenced some doubters here.

On another day, Higgins would have come out on top. The 45-year old veteran did lead 5-3 and 7-5, but Bingtao won five of the remaining six frames to clinch his maiden rankings event title. This win in Milton Keynes, (the makeshift home of The Masters, due to the Coronavirus) will add to the Riga Masters title Yan Bingtao won last season.

World number six Higgins showed the snooker world, he still has something to offer, that brilliant win against Ronnie O’Sullivan a tournament highlight, but this win for Yan Bingtao, the world number 11 shows that he is a force to be reckoned with.

World number one Judd Trump had to miss the tournament due to Covid concerns, but sitting at home, he will be in the knowledge that he has a new challenge to over take his supremacy at the top of the world game.

Yan did come close to winning a ranking event in 2017, only to beat edged out ny former world number one mark Williams 9-8 in the Northern Ireland Open. So this win, three years on will be all the more sweeter.

How to manage a lockdown

Hello and good evening my Bearded Soldiers, it’s me your Bearded Captain, leader of all beards on digital media and digital broadcasting media. I am that beard who tries to make people laugh and I am that beard who tries to make people smile.

My brothers, I hope you’re well and looking after your beards. Brothers, as you know of course, we are in a Coronavirus Pandemic and in a Lockdown too. My Bearded Soldiers, I know this brings it’s challenges, but I am here for you.

My beloved’s this Lockdown maybe a bit inconvenient, but it doesn’t have to be this way. For most of you, you are working from home, not having to wake up an hour earlier than the sane humans. The insanity, is from those who decide to shave their face.

To make sure you do it carefully and properly, it takes 20 minutes of your day, 20 minutes of your day that can be used elsewhere! There’s also not a need to run out of the door and eat your toast whilst starting your journey of being stuck in a traffic jam. If only you just grew a beard!

The only jam, most of you have to deal with, is the stuff you put on your toast. So, with the morning routine done and arriving at work, some of you will start work as per normal. For those who are homeworkers, you won’t have to contend with the morning traffic jam and you can start your day working at your make-shift office.

Working from home is great, toilet isn’t out of order, the canteen is great and there’s no rush hour to contend with when getting back from work. It may seem advantageous, but with us being in a lockdown, a daily schedule could get repetitive.

If you fear this, worry not, your Captain is here! Brothers, first thing that is needed is a good start to the day. how to achieve this , is when you wake up, thank the one who gave you your beard. Clean yourself and your beard!

Your man fur, is your money maker and needs to be cleaned. TLB (Tender love Of Beard) is necessary. I am sure you know that there is Beard Shampoo, which emphasizes the need to care for your beard. Exercise your mind, and your body too.

An active body, can help keep a mind active and healthy too. In these times, a healthy mind is crucial. Look after your beard, comb it and put product on it too. A tidy well kept beard shows discipline and helps you make you more organized. It brings in some law and order.

An unkept and untidy beard, opens up to laziness. Laziness can have the polar opposite effect on a mind, that’s dangerous. Brothers, I have wrote somethings you can do to help you in lockdown, but not in a religious order.

What’s necessary is that you make sure you complete your check list. Comedy videos, embarking on your creative side also can help you too. Brothers, we did in a previous post talk about surviving in lockdown, but I felt the need to remind to just remind myself of a tidy beard.

One reason which made me type this out, was that Father Malik had to address me about a messy beard. Brothers, a tidy beard and physically combing and styling your beard works wonders. Find time for you, and find time for your beard, you will grow grey and old together.

Your friends and family, are being forced to social distance from you, but your beard though? That’s exempt. Remember that brothers your beard will go into isolation with you if need be. That’s true love my Bearded Soldiers, just don’t forget that love your beard will show you, ever.

It’s over and out from your Bearded Captain.

Sports and COVID-19

For the past year, it’s dominated our lives and it’s dominated the news headlines too. I am not referring to Brexit, which in amongst itself has been a constant topic on everyone’s lips, I am indeed talking about the Coronavirus (Covid19). What started in December 2019 it’s believed (hence the name) has been a topic and an issue that’s still just as prevalent as it was over 12 months ago.

The virus has affected all aspects of life. From work, to shopping, to getting  a haircut and sports athletes too.  Supermarkets were rationing, which in turn lead to a Royal Rumble in its own right. In England and the rest of the UK is in yet another lockdown, where barber shops are closed and a lot of shops- recognised shops from the high street are closed. Here, I want to talk about the Coronavirus from more of the sporting side of things.

As mentioned, sports stars/athletes have been affected by Covid19 with many of these sports stars we adore and idolise suffering from Covid. So sports has been carrying on, but not with some of the worlds best and most known athletes. Football matches have been cancelled and rearranged and sports like snooker are just competing in one arena.

This year’s snooker masters tournament, just like with the other snooker tournaments that have been in a bubble environment. Cricket has been the same too, but in this article I want to talk about sports and is sports setting a bad example during covid?

Well, yes sport is but at the same time, I feel sport is unfairly targeted. Problems in the world, such as racism .. it seems like sport is solely responsible to sort the problems of society on the whole. The other side of this topic is, there’s been moments like football players clearly breaching lockdown guidelines, but at the same time the nations Prime Minister has fallen foul of the rules too.

Now if our leader isn’t following the rules, then how can we single out sports stars? There has been incidents such as India’s cricketers being seen at a Melbourne restaurant. Or the fact the Milijovic and Mitrovic been seen together.

But the one case which really took the biscuit was Manchester United’s women taking a trip to Dubai. This has caused a knock on affect in this current time for the women’s game. Sport has been seen by many as being some form of antidote to those who have mental vulnerabilities during this lockdown.

The Lockdown survival guide

Hello and greeting my Bearded Soldiers, it’s me your Bearded Captain, leader of all beards and flag bearer of all beards on digital, and digital broadcasting media.

I am that beard who tries to make people laugh and I am that beard who tries to make people smile.

My beloved’s, I hope you’re well and looking after yourselves, and looking after your beards too.

Brothers, we are in a lockdown again, as you know and you will also know this is a tough time for many.

But brothers, this is the hand we have been given, and we need to learn to play the game with cards we have been given.

In this piece, what I want to do, is give you lovely souls a basic guide and some steps in how to deal with this Lockdown.

We have had the experience of it before, but this one could be longer, but don’t worry brother’s your Captain is here to steer the ship!

Your Bearded Leader, below shares with you seven ways to get through this Coronavirus;

Keep yourself occupied

Now this maybe simple, maybe even a tad stating the obvious, but it’s so important! When I say keep yourself occupied that doesn’t mean on Facebook all day.

It’s addictive, I understand I get it, but Facebook is good in moderation. Just like with video games they’re not mentally stimulating.

So what I mean is, look to maybe watch a movie, watch some comedies or even watch that box set you have always watched.

Social media, is a very dangerous world if not used correctly. In normal times, you will be going out with your mates, but not now of course.

Do some reading, do some cross words. Train your brain, in times of being lockdown it could really zap your mind.

So just, all in all keep yourself occupied. Why? Just to keep your mind busy, if you make your mind lazy, you will be holding yourself captive to negativity.

Learn a new skill

I am sure, there’s one thing each and everyone have you has dreamt of doing in their life.

For some it maybe singing, even if you sound like a strangled cat. For others it maybe cooking, even if your cooking kills people’s appetite rather than feed it.

Even if you can’t sing like me (even though I have bled many ears trying). Or even if you can’t cook (yes I have got mixed up with salt and sugar).

But in my case I make a mean eggs on toast ;), Michelin’ five star I have you know … not..

This lockdown can be tough, if you let it. There’s no better time, to start writing that book, or learn to play that guitar.

If you do learn to play an instrument or sing like Phoebe from Friends , you might want to give your neighbour some noise cancelling headphones.

In a COVID sensitive way of course. Remember those neighbours, will be in lockdown too, show them so mercy!

I am being, humorous as you can tell . But, now is the time to dust off ambitions and aspirations that you allowed to put a side on the shelf and gather dust.


This goes with out saying. The need to rest the mind is crucial. To be able to fuel that creativity your mind needs to be fresh.

Mother Captain, always advises seven hours of asleep, but what ever you don’t be asleep till past 10.

She’s a lady who knows a thing or two and she’s not a lady to mess with lol. A fresh body, helps with a fresh mind.


To keep your mind active and busy, I advise a good exercise regime. No, I am not advising to do The Great North Run.

What I am saying is, do some exercise consistently in a day. Doesn’t have to be weights, it can be a long power walk or jog.

Exercise of any guide, releases endorphins and this helps create a positive energy within, and stay in shape too!

Bad news, If you love burgers. Yes, I have violated myself there. Maybe you could do some gardening, or even decorating.

You might know the first thing about using the roller or dashing a lick of paint, but you got some free time to now learn!

When it comes to Gardening, I don’t expect you to be Alan Titchmarsh. You will some cutting hedge technology to make gardening a success.

Let’s face it, day time TV is terrible, how many days can you bear to see Bradley Walsh’s face!

It’s keeping you active and can be exercise.

Work on your goals

I am sure, well had some goals, that we didn’t Believe we would achieve. There’s many reasons for whatever did happen, for it to happen.

Guys use this time as you time, it’s a chance to achieve what you wanted to. Dreams aren’t only Do in sleep.

Keep family and friends in your life

Without good friends and family in your life. Life will be that much more tougher. They’re good for support and to help you where no other can.

They will be the unsung hero in this lockdown for sure.

Be charitable

This one might be hard you think due to Covid, but it Doesn’t have to be.

You get many people giving to a homeless person and then upload to Instagram straight after for E-approval, but brothers we’re not like that.

We are used to the approval, we have grown our beards and we get enough stares and glances of admiration.

Giving to others, is of course a good deed, but it helps you be grateful, but it also helps you by making yourself feel better.

People love to feel good about themselves, and what Better way? We can’t forget to mention there are old and vulnerable locked in their homes.

Most people, can walk around in their garden for some exercise and fresh. There are the elderly who are alone and have no one, and can’t go outside to get some air.

We can arrange calls to them via Zoom or Skype for example. A simple act, but something that could go along way.

So my brothers there is my list and ways to survive this lockdown, but what do you think?

Let me know in the comments. It’s over and out from The Bearded Captain.

The Beardnet

Hello and good evening my bearded soldiers, I hope you’re well and looking after your beards. Greetings, it’s me your Bearded Captain, leader and flag bearer of all beards. Brothers, I want to talk about an important issue this evening, that’s the issue of the Beardnet.

Nope, it’s not a Bearded alternative to a certain broadband provider who have a clean-shaven Jessie fronting their ad campaign (I know crazy and absurd). Brothers this evening’s topic is about the nets that workers in food shops put in their hair.

Here though, I will be mentioning when our Bearded brothers have to put their beards in captivity. The official line is, it’s hygiene and on one hand, they do have a point. When you’re eating your food and you see a stray hair in the food, it’s disgusting, right?

The last thing we want is someone experience that due to beard hair going astray, and they do go astray. When we say go astray, we’re not saying the beard is being rebellious but it kinds of exercising it’s right I guess, of leaving the face when it fees necessary.

There have been times, where hair mysteriously comes in my cereal. It’s not my head hair, I am bald! It can only be my beard hair. The feeling of putting a Beardnet on your beard would no doubt be uncomfortable, but better it’s than better than Kellogg’s Crunchy Nut Hair Flakes.

When playing snooker and you run the cue through your chin, but your chin is a beard, it can get uncomfortable, but also distressing. I say that because, right under your very nose your beard is getting messy, but you feel powerless.

Ok, so to raise the issue of another uncomfortable moment for your beard, I will be mentioning the moment when you put on a Coronavirus mask. The mask, as seen in the cover image (of me), is a mask that looks not too dissimilar to a mask of a surgeon.

At times, when combing your beard or trimming your tash, you need the precision of a surgeon. With those masks, it’s like your essentially practising putting your head down at the swimming pool’s deep end, the level you have to go to, to control your breathing .

On top of that, you have to deal with the fact that one, the mask puts a weird line in your beard and two it takes ages to come out! Coronavirus, it’s hoped is easing. Brothers, I know wearing masks may be uncomfortable but console yourself with this fact, clean-shaven look like what we do in our masks now.

It’s over and out from The Bearded Captain.

If you want to help support project bearded captain/ the sports buff and help me grow, visit the following link;

Thank you

Ramdan Mubarak, and what is Ramadan

Hello, and greetings my bearded soldiers, it’s me your bearded captain. I am here with an address of a different kind. As you know my beloved’s I like to try and make you laugh and smile with one-line jokes and general banter.

We are of course in unprecedented times, so the need to stay safe and well is of utmost importance. For the bearded Muslims amongst you, I would like to wish you a heartfelt Ramadan Mubarak (Happy Ramadan).

What is Ramadan I here you ask? No, it’s not where they “starve themselves” as some famously said within my earshot. Ramadan is a holy month for Muslims, where for 29/30 days (depending on the lunar calendar).

In this month, we Muslims abstain from food, drink and sexual activity in daylight hours. this a month, where we Muslims try to nourish the mind, body and soul. A cliche some might say this is, but if done correctly this will be achieved.

Ramadan, this year has a very different feel to it. This is quite simply due to the coronavirus, but the order of the day is to stay home and save lives. Some of the

Ramadan rituals is to share a meal with your community when you open your fast.
In my case, I am blessed to have a big family, so we get by and have been sharing our meals to open the fast with each other. In life, you deal with the cards you’re dealt with, but it doesn’t mean it was a bad deck.

The other Ramadan ritual would be a congregational night prayer (Taraweeh). Now, again this would be a chance to meet with the community spirit and also help build a spiritual connection, but just like with the opening of the fast, the need to stay home and save lives, is more important above all else.

Just like before Ramadan, where you observed lockdown, inshaaAllah do the same here. In the long run, you will realise it’s the best thing you did my Muslim beard.
It’s over and out from the bearded captain. Ramadan Mubarak!

The Summer beard

Hello, and greetings my bearded soldiers, I pray you are well. As you know, we are of course in unprecedented times, in the times of lockdown and isolation. The Monks and the Buddhists talk of isolation and the therapeutic effects of the period of solitude.

For your Captain, however, it’s not been plain sailing. Part of me thinks, this isolation thing, how am I differing from the Monks, what are they doing that I am not? Yes, in these times I have spent time with my Nephew (Bearded Captain in the making) and my niece who has a key to my heart (the cheeky monkey).

There have been times of boredom, and just feeling fed up and worn down. I share this bit of info with you my beloved’s, just to remind you, you’re not alone. My brothers, I invite you to reach out to me on my email (, should you feel the need to talk.

I am here for my brothers, even if I don’t blog as much here, that’s been in part due to me working on my vlog The Sports Buff, which is shaping nicely and my pride and joy, The Bearded Captain vlog.

Brothers, my bearded soldiers what I want to talk to you about today though is about the summer beard. Much has been made about Jim Carey advising men to do Quarantine Beard, (grow a beard in lockdown time) but with it being summer, traditionally men tend to shave their pride and joy off their faces.

I have to question this rhetoric. Guys, when it’s summer, do we grab the hair clippers and say this hair is too much let’s shave it off? Usually, men don’t, so why is beard different?

My soldiers, it’s a tough time to grow a beard or have a beard, I can’t dress this up. But my brothers, the true men amongst you, will take this challenge head-on. The Captain suggests, that you have a cold shower regularly as well washing your face with cold water.

Life is full of challenges brothers in the world of beard, don’t make this be one of them. Especially in the UK, summer doesn’t last forever, have some patience. Bless you, all brothers, it’s over and out of from The Bearded Captain.

An amusing story to make you smile during covid 19

By Ayyaz “The Bearded Captain” Malik

Hello and good greetings from The Bearded Captain. Good afternoon my bearded soldiers, I pray we are well, in the middle of maintaining our beards and in these unprecedented times, looking after our health.

Just like in other addresses, I will again use this chance, to express my thanks to NHS staff, from Dr’s, nurses and to other staff who work for the health service. Thank you for your efforts to look after the old and vulnerable where at times you can’t look after your own old and vulnerable.

My beloved’s I reach out to you today because I want to tell a story. I hope this tale brings a smile to your face. As I type this out, it brings a wry smile to my face just thinking about it.

The story is a short one, but yeah anyway. One morning, after waking up and having my bearded breakfast (two eggs, two toast with no butter and a glass of orange juice), I decided to check the post.

Now, as you know the post usually consists of bills and “junk” (but unfortunately no blank cheques). In the case of this story, it would be “junk mail” that came in the post I want to talk about.

What came in the post, was a little leaflet from Harry’s. Yes, that’s right Harry’s the shaving guys who make themselves out to be so ethical people.
But are the same people who promote the cutting of your face and to go out against father nature in this instant and shave their beards (you see what I did there, I got your back guys).

Whoever was on their marketing team and thought this was a good idea to send a leaflet to the house which has three fully bearded men in there is hilarious.

Maybe, they were trying to encourage The Captain to shave his head all those months before he eventually started using a razor to shave his head, who knows.

One thing I do know, when I saw the leaflet, it really made me laugh. Telling this story, I thought it could make you laugh too.

A guide to survive in isolation

By Ayyaz Malik (The Bearded Captain, leader of all beards)

It’s a strange world we live in. Not as strange though as the times we are currently living in. We are in the 21st century of course, but currently, we are living something of a life which looks familiar to Yester century (this is now a thing). 

Hello and greetings from your bearded captain. On this blog, you would have seen me write more in recent times in the form of the sports buff, the sports aficionado on sports from football to WWE. 

A lot has changed for your captain and a lot has changed in the world we live in, since my last bearded captain blog post, I am doing vlogging about my beard, you can find me here;    

Of course, I am also on youtube, with the aim to spread the message of beard far and wide. My bearded soldiers, my bearded brothers we are in times, that we hope that we don’t have to face again, the time of the coronavirus. 

This pandemic, has sadly taken lives many lives, and it will look to take many more – but it’s also taken beard lives too. Lives matter, beard lives matter but on a serious note perspective here is needed. A big mention must go to the NHS (or national health service for my friends abroad).

Despite some of the men having to be clean-shaven (for health/hygiene reasons) these men and women are at the forefront helping our uncle’s, auntie’s, mum’s, dads and grandparents alike. 

A salute goes to them ‘men’ and women, (yes you read that right, but it’s the one and only time). They are (some of them) are caring for the elderly, (not all corona patients are elderly) This is of course a bearded trait an important one at that too. In their line of profession, the medical professional’s have deemed it necessary to remove beards. 

I would hope it’s all part of a conspiracy theory, but in these times the need to stay safe is most important above all else. Those clean-shaven men are looking after those who could be our loved ones. 

In certain cases, they can’t come back home and see their loved ones due to taking safe distancing measures. So, in a nutshell, my beards, this blog post was just me saying, I am still here. 

Over this isolation period, I The Bearded Captain will be looking to keep you lovely souls entertained. That will be through my TikTok videos and also my blog series, as well as the vlog updates on smart light people. 

Also, hoping you are able to sit in your garden, and sit out there and take in the good weather, hopefully this will be an option. Read my blog posts and other brilliant blog posts is another option.

Guys, this isolation will no doubt be challenging, but maybe read a book, watch a boxset, find some indoor exercises to do – these are just some things that you can do to keep yourself occupied.

My beards, you can make sure you keep your beard nice and soft in this period too. Whatever you do brothers, being bored should not be one of those things!