Cook: England haven’t closed the door on Monty Panesar

England captain Alastair Cook has confirmed that former Bedfordshire team-mate Monty Panesar still remains in their plans.

JPCT 210513 Sussex County cricket club at Horsham. Monty Panesar.Photo by Derek Martin
JPCT 210513 Sussex County cricket club at Horsham. Monty Panesar.Photo by Derek Martin

The troubled Lutonian spinner was again overlooked for the fifth Ashes Test currently being played against Australia at the Oval.

Former Bedford Modern School pupil Panesar, 31, this week signed on loan for Essex from Sussex, where he is leaving this summer after an internal investigation into a nightclub incident in Brighton where he urinated on bouncers.

On Panesar, who has taken 164 wickets in 48 Tests at a rate of 33.78, ex-Bedford Schooler Cook said: “He’s done wrong and has let the England shirt down a bit.

“The door is certainly not shut but he knows what he has to do to get back.

“Certainly what’s happened over the last couple of weeks has been disappointing. He actually rang me up and I’ve spoken to him about it.

“It wasn’t the most pleasant phonecall he had to make, to ring the England captain to apologise. He recognises he needs a bit of a change in his life and this is the first step towards that.

“I didn’t think his problems were as bad as that, (but) he’s got to get that side of his life right because we all know how much a settled life can do for you.”

Untried Lancashire left-arm spinner Simon Kerrigan has been preferred as the second spinner for the current Test.

And Cook added: “We all know the class he has as a bowler.

“We have seen what he can do time and time again so he has to go back to the basics and does what he does best, taking wickets. If he does that, all the better for me.

“The bottom line is we need Monty bowling again the way we know he can bowl. The way back for him is wickets.

“We know the record he has in international cricket and we know his pedigree. We need to see him doing it again and hopefully he will be doing that at Essex.”