Northants won’t prepare Panesar to fail

Monty Panesar
Monty Panesar

David Ripley insists Northants will not put Monty Panesar back on the field if they think there is a chance he will fail.

Instead, the head coach insists his county will make sure Panesar is physically and mentally right before considering a deal for the player.

Any move for Panesar, who has been training with Northants during the close season, would be reliant on Northants securing some funding.

But Ripley has emphasised that is not the only factor, stressing the 33-year-old must be capable of adding to the team.

Panesar has previously admitted that phsychological issues led to the collapse of his career, but he has been working hard to overcome those problems.

He has also been forced to have shoulder surgery and has been doing his rehabilitation with Northants physio and close friend Barry Goudriaan.

But Panesar is due to join pre-season nets if he receives clearance from doctors to resume bowling at the end of the month.

And Ripley said: “We’re looking forward to welcoming him into our practice when he’s fit because he’s welcome to join us.

“He’s still not bowling, he’s just having his rehab, building up to a bowl.”

Born in Luton, Panesar progressed through Northants’ youth teams and eventually made his first-class debut in a game against Leicestershire in 2001.

He went on to enjoy some fine moments on both the domestic and international scene, taking 167 wickets in 50 Test appearances for England.

Panesar left Northants for Sussex ahead of the 2010 season and has also represented Essex.

But he is now back at the County Ground for training and Ripley knows that if he can help Panesar regain some form, he would be a useful asset.

However, he knows there is plenty of work to be done before the two parties can commit to each other.

“If we can get some funding it makes it (Panesar playing for Northants) more possible, but there are still elements of him being somewhere near he’s been in the past, both in his wellbeing and his bowling,” Ripley said.

“Even if there’s sponsorship money for him, it’s not the end of the story. He’s still got to show us he’s capable of recapturing some of the form he’s had previously, otherwise we’re just putting him back out there to fail - and we’re not keen to do that.

“If we think he’s got a real chance of being somewhere near his best, it could be quite exciting, but we’re some way off that.”

Meanwhile, Northants have confirmed the signing of Ben Sanderson on a two-year deal.

The 27-year-old right-arm medium-fast bowler impressed while on trial last season and has now committed to the county ahead of the 2016 season.