Panesar offers to help NSW

CRICKET: Former Luton Town & Indians spinner Monty Panesar has offered to help out New South Wales in this week’s Sheffield Shield clash against Western Australia.

Leg-spinning all-rounder Steve Smith is unavailable as he pushes his Test claims with Australia A in Brisbane, while Nathan Hauritz, Stephen O’Keefe and Beau Casson are still working their way back from injury.

Panesar, who has taken 126 wickets in 39 Tests for England, is already in Sydney playing grade cricket and said: “I’ve bowled quite a bit already, I’ve had three or four games for Randwick-Petersham, I’m more than ready. If the opportunity came now, I’d love it.”

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The Sussex bowler has been training with the Blues in-between club commitments while also working under the tutelage of former Australia off-spinner Greg Matthews.

Panesar has taken 10 wickets in six matches for Randwick-Petersham at an average of 25 and is hoping to force his way back into the England squad for the games against Pakistan in Dubai.