England captain Andrew Strauss today retired from all forms of professional cricket to take up a new role, replacing Shane Warne as the face of Advanced Hair Studio, the leading hair-loss specialists.
At his press conference this lunchtime, Strauss cited the decline in his batting form as a key reason for his retirement, and it has been plain for all to see the amount of hair atop his head diminishing along with the number of runs he has scored with the bat.
"It's pretty clear, as his form has dried up he has become increasingly follically challenged." Leading sports psychologist and hair salon owner Thomas Mosley told Sportzbus. "It's difficult to say though whether the hair loss affected his confidence and caused his loss of form, or whether concerns about his batting led to sufficient stress to trigger said hair loss. It's kind of a chicken and egg situation."
Advanced Hair Studio are said to be delighted with the appointment of Strauss. "We would first like to thank Shane Warne for all the hard work he put in with the company, he really put AHS on the map." A spokesperson confirmed earlier today. "But we look forward to a new chapter, and are honoured to have secured the services of a huge name in Andrew Strauss."
AHS are also said to believe that Strauss made the correct decision in retiring from all forms of cricket, rather than continuing to play at the highest level alongside his new role as Warne did when he first underwent treatment for his hair-loss. "It's a completely different situation. When Shane first started with us he still had a good proportion of his barnet left. But have you seen Straussy lately? It'll be a full time job growing that back I'm telling you."
Warne himself has no doubt that Strauss made the correct decision. "Listen mate, ten years ago I was overweight, balding and had to play test cricket all the time. I mean all the time." He told a man in a pub. "I'd be firing up the barby and cracking a few tinnies, then the phone would ring and it'd be Punter [Ricky Ponting] asking where I am 'cause we've got a game. Again. Now I'm in great shape, I've got a full head of hair and I don't know if you've noticed but I'm banging Liz Hurley. I hear Straussy's happily married, but if he ever fancies a bit of strange or trading the missus in for a younger model Advanced Hair Studio will do wonders for him."
Another sports star to have undergone treatment for hair-loss recently is England striker Wayne Rooney. While there has been no remarkable upturn in Rooney's form since the treatment last year, spectators and referees have seen a marked improvement in his temperament. Rooney received no yellow cards in the 2011-2012 season, unbelievable given his previous disciplinary record, and opta stats show that he told referees to "fuck off" 85% less frequently than he did in the previous season.
As expected, Engand team manager Andy Flower confirmed Strauss' replacement to be his former opening partner Alistair Cook, 27. "Alistair's got the best years of his career ahead of him, he's scored boatloads of runs over the last couple of years and he's got a fantastic head of jet black hair. For those reasons he was the obvious choice." It is unclear whether Cook will still have this quantity of hair when he is 35, Strauss' age, but if he does it will be testament to the job he will have done as England skipper.
Despite the evidence of Cook, Strauss and Warne pointing to a clear positive correlation between quantity of hair and both test match runs and success with women, experts at Advanced Hair Studio have issued a warning to Strauss, Cook, and anyone else looking to grow their hair out in order to succeed.
"It is not as simple as 'the more hair the more runs' or 'the more hair the more women'. There is a clear cut-off point where a man can grow so much hair it gets in his eyes when batting, distracting him, and where he is no longer attractive to women."
This is not a new phenomenon, in fact it was discovered by researchers at Leeds Metropolitan University back in 2001, who dubbed it "The Ryan Sidebottom Paradox". Likewise, despite the Rooney situation, increased hair growth does not always lead to an improvement in footballers' behaviour.
This has been known as "The Gennaro Gattuso Conundrum" for the last few years, but as Gattuso nears the end of his glittering career of disciplinary problems it is increasingly being referred to as "The Sergio Ramos Enigma".