‘Give me a net’ – England discard Monty Panesar wrote letters to 18 counties

Monty Panesar, the former England spinner, has revealed that he has written to each of the 18 first-class counties in English domestic cricket as he seeks to return to the sport after two years.

Speaking to the BBC World Service, the 36-year-old said that he sent letters “four to six weeks ago”.

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“I’m hoping that one of the county coaches can give me a go – give me a net, give me a trial. I still have huge ambitions to play in the professional game. One of my goals is that I want to play county cricket again. I want to hopefully get an opportunity somewhere with a team because I still have that desire,” said left-armer Panesar, who played 50 Tests and took 167 wickets.

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Panesar has a history of off-field incidents that have limited his appearances across the domestic circuit. After making a name for himself at Northamptonshire, he joined Sussex in 2010 and was with the club until 2013 when he had his contract cut after he urinated on a bouncer at a nightclub in Brighton. A move to Essex followed, but Panesar could not hold down a regular spot in the first XI.

In 2016, Panesar opened up about his struggles with anxiety and depression.

His last appearance for England was in the 2013 Ashes in Australia. He famously bowled England to victory against India in Mumbai in 2012, partnering with Graeme Swann to stun the hosts on a spinning track. In that win, Panesar took 11 wickets.