Struggling Panesar joins Sussex

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The Independent Online

England spinner Monty Panesar today joined Twenty20 champions Sussex on a three-year deal.

Panesar, 27, endured a tough season with Northamptonshire and left Wantage Road despite having a year left on his contract.

The left-arm spinner's most significant act of 2009 came with the bat after he held out for a draw, alongside James Anderson, in the first Ashes Test.

Panesar, currently playing for Highveld Lions in South African domestic cricket, said: "I am extremely grateful to Northamptonshire for all their support in my career so far and also for allowing me to make this move.

"I know Michael Yardy well from rooming with him on tour so I am really looking forward to working under his captaincy and with the coaching staff at Hove to help the club reclaim its Division One County Championship status and maintain its premier position in the shorter forms of the game.

"Success in this new challenge with Sussex can only improve my chances of reclaiming my place in the England standings, which is the pinnacle for any player."

Panesar claimed just 18 first-class victims at an average of 59.44 for Northants this summer.

But Sussex coach Mark Robinson is confident of revitalising a career which saw him rush to 100 Test wickets in just 28 appearances; he has taken just 25 in 11 matches since.

"I am very excited about the prospect of Monty joining us from 2010," said Robinson.

"It is testament to the club that we are able to attract a player of Monty's calibre and I am sure he will play a key part in helping us achieve our aims for the coming season."