Shane Warne has been the recipient of some lighthearted jibes about his appearance after debuting his new beard at the third Test of England’s series against South Africa in London this week.
The larrikin Aussie cricketer shared a shot of his fresh facial fuzz on his Instagram account on Thursday with the caption: “The beard is coming along well too!”
Many of the 47-year-old’s 695,000 followers were quick to weigh in on Warne’s mini-makeover, including former fiancée Elizabeth Hurley and his son, Jackson.
Jackson, 18, was the first of many to compare his father’s beard to that of former AFL player Jason Akermanis, simply commenting: “#Akermanis”.
Others likened the beard to that of late pop icon George Michael.
Big congrats to everyone involved at the oval for your 100th test match. The pitch has a bit of moisture in it but it's still a bat first pitch. Good luck to both teams, play well & make sure you tune in at 10am for all the action on @sky.cricket Ps Yep the beard is coming along well too ! Hahaha ✔️ #skyoceanrescue
A post shared by Shane Warne (@shanewarne23) on
Hurley, who was engaged to Warne for two years before they split in 2013, didn’t appear to be a fan of the new look, commenting: “Good God, a beard????”.
Much of the vitriol appeared to be directed at the fact the reddish-brown shade of Warne’s facial hair didn’t match his trademark blonde locks.
“A beard is ok but why did you dye the colour? No. Just no,” one commenter remarked.
The New Daily‘s style columnist and former Vogue editor Kirstie Clements said the beard was a classic case of “when the carpet doesn’t match the drapes”.
Questionable facial hair seems to be a trend on the rise amongst stars of the sporting field and beyond.
Late night host Jimmy Fallon was recently criticised for his ’70s moustache, while Alex Turner, the lead singer of the Arctic Moneys, horrified his fans with an ill-advised goatee.
In April, Melbourne footballer Max Gawn announced he would shave his beard off and sell it for charity after growing it for two years. The eBay listing described the beard as “a treasured collector’s item”.
Perhaps Warnie is hoping for a similar outcome?