Sacked by Sussex, England left-arm spinner Monty Panesar has joined Essex for the rest of the season.
"Essex have secured the signing of Monty Panesar for the rest of the 2013 season. Panesar will join the Club on loan from Sussex and is available for the six County Championship
matches, starting with the Colchester Cricket Festival, which begins Tuesday at Castle Park versus Northamptonshire," Essex said in a statement Monday.
Panesar, 31, could become Essex's second signing making their debut at Castle Park along with Gautam Gambhir who is also available for selection against Northamptonshire.
"We are delighted to welcome Monty to the Club for the remainder of the season. He is a world-class spinner and we are confident that he will have a positive impact on the team," said Paul Grayson, Essex coach.
Panesar replaces Tom Craddock who looks set to miss the remainder of the season for personal reasons.
Panesar was released by Sussex Monday following a probe into his drunken behaviour outside a nightclub after being dropped for the fifth and final Ashes Test.
England Sunday called up left-arm Simon Kerrigan for the Oval Test, dropping a big enough hint that Panesar's international career was in jeopardy.
Panesar, 31, was fined 90 pounds by the police for drunken disorderly bheaviour after urinating on night club bouncers and Sunday he received a big jolt when he was dropped for the Oval Test against Australia.
Sussex's professional cricket manager Mark Robinson added: "Monty has been an integral part of the professional cricket team and has been a valuable contributor to the overall performance of the club during his time at Sussex.
"He is an outstanding bowler. I would like to thank Monty for his contribution and wish him well for the future."
Pnesar, who still has two more years of contract to run, thanked the county for agreeing to release him so that he could explore other opportunities of playing in all forms of the game.
Panesar said: "I am grateful to Sussex for allowing me to be released from my contract for 2014 and 2015 in order to explore other opportunities to further develop my cricket. I want to give myself the best chance of playing all forms of the game at the highest level.
"I have endured a challenging time this year off the field and my frustrations have sometimes got the better of me professionally. I apologise for letting the club, my colleagues and my fans down.
"I have re-engaged with Neil Burns at London County Mentoring, to help to develop my cricket further and I feel that Neil, along with a trusted support structure in place around me will help me put my personal and professional problems behind me and enable me to put all my energies and focus into the game and a new club.
"I am determined to do whatever it takes to gain selection for England this winter. I want to become the best I can be.
"I believe that if I maintain the bowling progress I have made in recent weeks which enabled me to be selected for the Test squad at Old Trafford, I can fulfil my long-held ambition of becoming the best spin bowler in the world, over time," he added.
© Copyright © 2013 HT Media Limited. All Rights Reserved.