Sussex lay down Panesar challange
Monty Panesar has been challenged to become Sussex's number one spinner in all forms of the game after signing a three-year deal at Hove.
England outcast Panesar is hoping for a new lease of life on the south coast after being released 12 months early from his contract with Northamptonshire.
Considered something of a first-class specialist during a career which has stalled of late, his new environment will also offer the chance to become a one-day regular despite the club's overwhelming success in the shorter formats.
Twenty20 champions Sussex appear well stocked for slow bowlers with Will Beer, Ollie Rayner, Rory Hamilton-Brown and captain Michael Yardy all viable options.
But coach Mark Robinson said: "What we haven't got is a frontline spinner and Monty fits the bill.
"We want people who can change the course of a game - and people who can spin the ball hard and away from the bat probably fit into that category.
"Monty can come on when a game is going nowhere and, by the strength of his skill, completely change its complexion."
Despite a two-trophy campaign in 2009 - they also won the Pro40 title - Sussex were relegated in the County Championship and Robinson views Panesar's potential productivity as a crucial ingredient for a swift return to the top flight.
However, it will need a distinct change in form from the 27-year-old, who claimed just 18 first-class victims at an average of 59.44 for Northants last summer.
"One of the reasons we went down is because we couldn't get enough wickets," said Robinson. "To sign people who take wickets is hard but we believe we have signed one. "Now Monty must come and perform. He's a dangerous cricketer with a point to prove and I sense he is hungry."
Left-arm spinner Panesar raced to 100 Test wickets in just over two years, after making his England debut in the spring of 2006, but the supply dried up and he was eventually axed after saving the first Ashes Test with the bat in Cardiff this summer.
Panesar, currently playing for Highveld Lions in South African domestic cricket, said: "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."
Arsenal vs Chelsea: Mutual contempt burns as rivals Arsene Wenger and Jose Mourinho face off again
Memphis Depay to Manchester United: Striker 'arrives in England' for talks over £25m switch
Wayne Rooney is Premier League's richest footballer with £72million worth but Lewis Hamilton leads the Sunday Times Rich List
Memphis Depay to Manchester United: Louis van Gaal faces difficult task as Liverpool hold 'secret' meeting with transfer target
What time does Floyd Mayweather vs Manny Pacquiao start?
- 1 Bruce Jenner's 'Interview of the year': Suicidal thoughts, rejection by family members and new wardrobe
- 2 Sofyen Belamouadden murder: The inside story of a crime that horrified Britain
- 3 How to turn off/stop 'seen by' on Facebook: Disable it to make your chats seem less passive aggressive
- 4 'We're not heroes, just tourists': Swedish police officers on holiday stop vicious assault on New York subway
- 5 Buckingham Palace guard who attacked passers-by in 'most most violent piece of CCTV footage' police officer had seen walks free
The sickening truth about food banks that the Tories don't want you to know
Katie Hopkins on LBC: Listen to caller taking The Sun columnist to task over migrant comments
Migrant boat disaster: Ukip candidate mocks victims in sickening Twitter post
Nigel Farage wants the BBC to stop making programmes like Doctor Who, Strictly Come Dancing, and Top Gear
Global warming: Scientists say temperatures could rise by 6C by 2100 and call for action ahead of UN meeting in Paris
General Election 2015: Britain would become a 'communist dictatorship' under Ed Miliband and Nicola Sturgeon, claims wife of Michael Gove