Monty Panesar: Former England spinner released by Essex

Monty Panesar
Monty Panesar took a break from the game earlier this season

Former England spinner Monty Panesar has been released by Essex.

The 33-year-old initially joined Essex on loan in 2013, before making a permanent move from Sussex the following season.

But Panesar, capped 50 times at Test level for England, has made just three first-class appearances this season.

He is one of four players released by Essex alongside all-rounder Greg Smith, seam bowler Matt Salisbury and wicketkeeper Saf Imtiaz.

Panesar took his 700th first-class career wicket against Surrey at Colchester last month, but has not played a Test for England since December 2013 against Australia at Melbourne.

He was made unavailable for selection by Essex earlier this season because of off-field "issues".

It was the latest in a series of setbacks for the slow left-armer following an omission the previous season for a "timekeeping" error and an incident during his time with Sussex where he urinated on a bouncer outside a nightclub in Brighton.

Panesar started his career at Northamptonshire in 2001 before making his Test debut in 2006 against India at Nagpur.