Monty Panesar
Monty Panesar, 33, was released by Essex at the end of last term. © Getty Images

Former England spinner Monty Panesar will try to revive his career at the club where it all started after he was included in Northamptonshire’s squad for the forthcoming county season. Panesar, 33, was released by Essex at the end of last term after struggling to gain a regular first-team place following a series of off-field problems that included mental health concerns. His time with Essex came after a spell at Sussex that ended following a bizarre incident which saw Panesar fined by police for urinating on nightclub bouncers in Brighton in 2013. Now though Panesar hopes to be making headlines purely for his cricket, with the undeniably talented left-armer having taken 167 wickets in 50 Tests for England, the last of which was in Melbourne three years ago during a 5-0 Ashes whitewashing by Australia.

“Getting a chance to play at Northants, where I first started to play my cricket, it’s nice to be back home. I’m really looking forward to it. I’ve done a lot of hard work and in the next few weeks I think I’ll be ready to go,” added Panesar, who played for Northamptonshire from 2001-2009,” ,” Panesar, who trained with the county during the English winter while recovering from shoulder surgery, told Sky Sports on Monday.  Also read: We must applaud England’s magnificence show of character in T20 World Cup 2016

David Ripley, the Northamptonshire coach, said he had been impressed by Panesar’s commitment. “Monty has worked hard at his fitness which is progressing. He joined us on our pre-season tour to Barbados of his own volition where he fitted in well with the rest of the lads. He will now have to prove himself for selection.” That point was emphasised by county captain Alex Wakely, who said: “I would be very excited to have Monty as part of the squad as his Test pedigree and experience will be really helpful to the rest of the lads.

“We’ve all had some honest conversations, but he is fitting in really well. He still has to prove his worth and Graeme White is bowling very well at the moment so he still faces some challenges to get a place on a team.”