THE thought of Monty Panesar wheeling away in wild-eyed jubilation after taking a wicket still brings a fond smile to the face of any England cricket fan.
His days as a top-level sportsman may be over, but the 35-year-old is entering a new phase, with The Sun revealing that he has signed up for Dancing On Ice 2018. Here’s the lowdown on him.
Who is Monty Panesar?
Monty Panesar is a former England cricketer who became a firm fans’ favourite during his seven-year international career.
Born in Luton, Bedfordshire, on April 25 1982, he made his county debut with Northamptonshire aged just 19 in 2001.
He broke into the England side in 2006 and went on to play 50 Tests for his country, taking 167 wickets with his often devastating left-arm spin bowling.
His infectious enthusiasm, wild celebrations and unintentionally hilarious fielding endeared him to England’s rowdy supporters, the Barmy Army.
Indeed, his fans often took to imitating the Sikh star by mimicking his distinctive patka headgear and wearing fake beards, and nicknamed him The Python, after the comedy legends.
Monty made the last of his England appearances during the disastrous 2013/14 Ashes tour, which ended in a 5-0 Australia victory.
He spent a couple more seasons on the county circuit, although his cricket suffered due to off-field issues, and made made his last professional appearance in 2016.
What’s happened in Monty Panesar’s life outside cricket?
In August 2013, Monty made headlines off the field when he was fined by police after being caught urinating on bouncers after they turfed him out of a nightclub.
The incident, which took place in the early hours after a boozy night out in Brighton, led to spinner being released by his then county Sussex.
It came shortly after the breakdown of his marriage to long-term partner Gursharan Rattan, who he had wed in 2010.
When playing for Essex in 2015, Monty was made unavailable for selection by his county due to “off-field issues”, and was axed at the end of the season.
Last year, Monty bravely opened up on how mental health issues which had blighted the latter stages of his career, and became an ambassador for the Professional Cricketers’ Association.
He revealed that he had suffered from anxiety and paranoia, stemming from a loss of self-esteem, and said that a reluctance to take medication made his problems worse.
This summer, Monty exclusively revealed to The Sun that he rejected offers from I’m A Celebrity and The Jump in a bid to resurrect his cricket career.
However, after a season away from the professional game, a stint on another reality show could prove a springboard to a comeback.
He source told The Sun: “Monty thinks Dancing On Ice will show he’s still got that fight in him – as well as keeping him super fit.”
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