England cricketer Monty Panesar has been selected to help launch the 2010 Commonwealth Games at the Queen's Baton Relay in London next month.

He will be one of the baton carriers when the Relay starts at Buckingham Palace on October 29.

Panesar was born to Punjabi Sikh parents in Bedfordshire and is the first Sikh to represent a nation other than India in Test cricket. 

Vic Sethi, Panesar's former agent who is a member of the UK launch arm of the New Delhi organising committee, put forward the spinner for the honour.

He said: "We thought that someone from the UK was needed because the Queen, the head of the Commonwealth is British; we needed a link to India.

"I think Monty was perfect because he is one of the first British Sikh sports stars to wear the turban and the full beard.

"He was very proud to have been asked because he has links to India and, obviously, to Britain too.

"I imagine it was an honour and I know he will do very well in the role."

India's Beijing Olympics gold medal winning shooter Abhinav Bindra will be the first baton bearer and will receive it from the Queen.
It will then travel through the 70 other countries and territories that are due to compete in the Commonwealth Games next year.
The ceremony at Buckingham Palace will also be attended by India's President Pratibha Devisingh Patil.
On arrival at the opening ceremony in Delhi, the baton would have travelled over 190,000 kilometres over 340 days and this will make the Baton Relay one of the longest in the history of the Commonwealth Games.
The relay will conclude with the final baton-bearer entering the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium during the opening ceremony of the Games on October 3, 2010.

Story courtesy of Inside the Games.