Monty Panesar: Spinner sets England recall goal after Northamptonshire return

Monty Panesar
Panesar recorded his best Test bowling figures of 6-37 against New Zealand in 2008

England spin bowler Monty Panesar has targeted selection for England's winter tour to India and Bangladesh, as he prepares for the county cricket season.

The 33-year-old has been included in Northamptonshire's squad for the summer, funding himself independently.

"I really want to be part of the England set-up," left-armer Panesar told BBC Radio Northampton.

"If it doesn't happen then at least I tried my best. I'm confident I can bowl the way I used to bowl."

Panesar has been training at Wantage Road this winter while recovering from a shoulder injury.

"There's a sub-continent winter tour in Bangladesh and India which keeps me motivated and it's something I want to be part of.

"I know I've got a lot of hard work ahead of me, but I'm prepared to do that," said Panesar.

He added he had been in regular contact with Peter Such, spin-bowling coach at the England and Wales Cricket Board.

"He keeps an eye on me and we're going to get together and have a few sessions once my arm is in a better place," said Panesar.

The Luton-born spinner, who has also played for Sussex and Essex, has taken 167 wickets in 50 Tests, the last of them three years ago.

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Northants like coming home - Panesar

A statement on the Northants website said it had seemed "unlikely" Panesar would be added to their squad because the "player budget for 2016 was already confirmed".

"Monty has now organised his own funding and the chances of him playing for Northamptonshire County Cricket Club are looking more likely," the statement added.

Panesar made himself unavailable for selection by Essex at the start of the 2015 season, and only played three first-class games throughout the summer.

He was released by Essex at the end of the season after off-field "issues", and later admitted to bouts of paranoia and lack of self-confidence, stating: "I would feel that people are not being supportive of me."

Panesar was dropped by Essex in 2014 for a "timekeeping" error, and during his time with Sussex was fined by police for urinating on a nightclub bouncer.

He was given a way back into cricket by Northants, who allowed him to travel with the squad on their pre-season tour of Barbados last month, seven years after his last appearance for the club.

"We've all had some honest conversations but he is fitting in really well," said captain Alex Wakely.

"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."

Monty Panesar on Twitter

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