England confident Panesar's problems behind him

England confident Panesar's problems behind him

 England insisted Monty Panesar's personal problems were behind him as they included the spinner in a 17-man squad for the defence of the Ashes in Australia.

Long a fans' favourite for his sheer enthusiasm and undoubted ability to spin the ball, the left-armer found himself making the wrong sort of headlines last month after he was fined by police for urinating on night-club bouncers in Brighton on England's south coast.

It was all too much for the 31-year-old's then employers Sussex, who promptly released Panesar, now completing the season on loan at rival county Essex.
But the fact remains Panesar is England's second best spinner behind off-break bowler Graeme Swann, a point emphasised by the wretched Test debut of Lancashire left-armer Simon Kerrigan, whose eight wicketless overs in the drawn Ashes finale at The Oval last month cost 53 runs.

England national selector Geoff Miller, himself a former Test off-spinner, confirmed Panesar's inclusion in a largely predictable squad led by captain Alastair Cook and featuring the bulk of a side who've helped the team win the last three Ashes campaigns when he announced the tour party at a Lord's press conference on Monday.

Slightly less predictable was Miller's reply when asked if Panesar had sought professional help for his off-field problems and whether it had helped effect a change in his behaviour: "Yes, and yes."

And as far as Miller is concerned, the talent that has seen Panesar take 164 wickets at 33.78 in 48 Tests, and produce a match-winning performance against India in Mumbai last year, remains intact.

"Monty had his problems, which we've worked hard to rectify in the last six weeks -- and he has too," Miller said. "He's a proven international bowler, who has shown what he's capable of doing on many occasions for us.

Miller added: "He's very prepared to let his bowling do the talking for him, so I'm prepared to accept that. He's an experienced international player and it's up to him to actually produce the goods for us."

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