Monty Panesar eyes England recall as he revives career with Northamptonshire

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Football News

Monty Panesar has set his sights on earning a call-up to England's tours of Bangladesh and India this winter as he embarks on a fresh start with Northamptonshire.

Nearly two and a half years after his most recent international appearance, the 33-year-old has been given the opportunity to revive his career at his former club.

Panesar turned to Northants following his release from Essex at the end of the last season and subsequent mental health issues.

He is working his way back to fitness after shoulder surgery over the winter and admits adding to his haul of 50 Test caps is a driving ambition.

Panesar's aim may appear unrealistic but he has thrived in subcontinent conditions, playing a starring role in England's last tour to India in 2012, while Moeen Ali and Adil Rashid struggled to contain Pakistan's batsmen on the turning tracks of the United Arab Emirates last year.

Panesar told the Daily Telegraph: "One of my goals is the subcontinent tours of Bangladesh and India. It is the reason I am doing these sessions and hard work.

"Step by step I hope I can get there because I still have huge ambitions.

"I still think I am good enough, if I am bowling at my best I am still able to bowl at that level and perform."

Panesar, who secured independent financial support to cover his wages in order to play at Northamptonshire, spoke frankly about overcoming the mental demons that have plagued him in recent months.

He added: "I had paranoia issues. Mentally my confidence would go low and I would feel like my own team-mates were out to get me.

"When you have mental health issues people stay in denial for a long time and I did that. It took me a while to come out of that. But I suddenly realised why am I behaving so abruptly with people.

"I just needed talk through it and identify what was wrong. I have come out of that and I feel a lot better about myself. People are now saying to me that I am lot more together and more my old self."

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