Upset with the fans who jeer and make fun of Monty Panesar for his fielding, Steve Harmison has urged the spectators to respect the spinner's contribution to the England team and desist from mocking him.
"It upsets me a lot when people have a go at Monty," the Press Association quoted Harmison as saying.
"When the ball goes to him in the field the crowd laugh and they jeer," he added making it clear that the fans' taunts were not in good taste.
Harmison said Monty had been working hard on his fielding but that alone should not be the criteria to judge his performance. The seamer said Monty was a match-winning bowler and it was high time that England fans recognised this fact.
"Monty is a very, very good left-arm spinner and a number 11 batsman and the guy works so hard on his fielding it's ridiculous -- he works just as hard on his fielding as he does on his bowling and his batting," Harmison said.
Praising Monty for his tight bowling in the ongoing Test match against Pakistan, Harmison said his teammate was a major contributor to his success in the match. Harmison took six wickets in his spell breaking the back of Pakistan's batting line-up.
"What he's done is prove to everyone every time he plays a Test match is he's getting better and better with his batting, bowling and fielding. I think Monty bowled an exceptional spell from the other end," he said referring to Monty's two wickets in the match.
"He kept the man on strike for me to attack and when you get that it's good because you don't have to work anyone over because you've done it the previous over," Harmison added.