Northamptonshire have confirmed that Monty Panesar will join the squad on the pre-season tour to Barbados as “part of his ongoing rehabilitation”, whilst club captain Alex Wakely has signed a new two year contract.
Panesar is without a county contract since being released by Essex at the end of last summer, but has been working with Northants physiotherapist Barry Goudriaan as he continues his recovery from a shoulder injury. Panesar will join the squad when they fly to the Caribbean tomorrow, although the County made no comment on any future involvement beyond the tour.
In a statement regarding former England spinner the club said his injury will likely prevent him from bowling in matches during the tour, which sees the county play in a T20 tournament before a two day clash with Nottinghamshire. It was added, however, that the 33 year old will be able to “share his experiences of top-level cricket with younger members of the playing squad at times during the trip”.
The Luton born player started his career at Wantage Road, rising through the youth ranks before making his first class debut in 2001. He joined Sussex in 2010 after losing his central contract. A brief return to the international spotlight came in England’s 2012 test series victory in India; with Panesar and Graeme Swann’s spin combination a major factor in that victory.
With England touring India later this year, it had been previously suggested the ECB could help fund a deal for Panesar to play for cash strapped Northants, who are unlikely to be able to fund a contract themselves.
Northants also announced on Wednesday that club captain Alex Wakely has signed a new two-year contract with the club.
The 26-year-old captained the Steelbacks to their T20 title in 2013 and, after missing the entire 2014 season with an Achilles injury, was appointed as club captain last summer. He took the side to another T20 Blast final, where they narrowly lost out to Lancashire.
“I am very happy to be staying at the club I have been at my whole career,” he said, “I genuinely love this club and I want to see it succeed, I still feel I have so much more to achieve in my career and I want to score the runs I know I should and can. We have a young, talented, well-balanced squad who I am happy to captain.
“At a club like Northants, where nobody gives us a chance, there is nothing better than beating the bigger teams. I want more of this and I want to bring some more silverware back to the club.”