England bowler to get in valuable match practice before next Test match.
England spinner Monty Panesar will prepare for a possible re-call to the Test team by making his debut with the Wests Magpies in the Sydney Grade Cricket competition at Waverley Oval on Saturday.
With the rest of the touring side still locking their wounds after handing back the Ashes in three games, Panesar will be out to get some valuable match practice.
The left-arm spinner was brought into the side to pair up against with Graeme Swann for the Test at Adelaide, with the pitch at the venue favoring slow bowlers for years.
But apart from tour games, Panesar’s game time on tour so far has been limited, with Wests stepping in to fill the void.
Wests cricket manager Geoff Wright said their star recruit will play any time he is not needed by England coach Andy Flower.
“Whenever England doesn’t need him in the new year then he’ll be playing for the Western Suburbs,” Wright said.
“So we envisage he’ll be playing for most of the second half of the year and has organised accommodation in Sydney until the end of the of the grade season.”
Wright said having an international quality spinner around the team will be a invaluable resource for their young bowlers.
“The club’s going to benefit because we’ve got some young spinners who will be able to learn a lot off him about how to prepare for a game and bowl in a game,” he said.
“And obviously Sydney Grade Cricket and the Sydney public will be able to come out and see Monty bowl his arm over on a regular basis, which is going to be good for everyone.”
England will be out to salvage some pride from their tour of Australia when they face the hosts at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Boxing Day, the fourth game of the series.