Lutonian Panesar seals loan move to Essex

Troubled Luton spinner Monty Panesar has signed on loan at Essex until the end of the season.

Monty Panesar, Sussex and England cricketer playing for Bexhill against Eastbourne
Monty Panesar, Sussex and England cricketer playing for Bexhill against Eastbourne

Sussex had announced on Monday that the England bowler would leave the club on 27 September following an internal investigation into an incident that saw the 31-year-old urinate on nightclub bouncers in Brighton recently.

Essex coach Paul Grayson said:”Monty is a world-class spinner and we are confident he will have a positive impact for the remainder of the season.”

Earlier Panesar had issued a statement in which he apologised for letting Sussex, his team-mates and their supporters down.

He said: “I have endured a challenging time this year off the field and my frustrations have sometimes got the better of me professionally.

“I have re-engaged with Neil Burns at London County Mentoring, to help to develop my cricket further.

“I feel that Neil, along with a trusted support structure in place around me will help me put my personal and professional problems behind me and enable me to put all my energies and focus into the game and a new club.”

Panesar had two years remaining on his Sussex contract, but will become a free agent at the end of the season.

Sussex chief executive Zac Toumazi said: “Clearly this season has been a very difficult time for Monty.

“This will give him every opportunity to put his personal and professional life back on track.”

Panesar was again overlooked for the Fifth Ashes Test against Australia this week, despite having taken 164 wickets at an average of 33.78 in his 48 Test appearances.

He has struggled in country cricket this year though taking 23 wickets at 40.39, compared with 53 wickets at 23.15 last year.

“I want to give myself the best chance of playing all forms of the game at the highest level,” Panesar added.

“I am determined to do whatever it takes to gain selection for England this winter. I want to become the best I can be.

“I believe that if I maintain the bowling progress I have made in recent weeks which enabled me to be selected for the Test squad at Old Trafford, I can fulfil my long-held ambition of becoming the best spin bowler in the world, over time.”