Monday, 19 August 2013

Panesar pain is sad to see

THE news Monty Panesar is being released by Sussex at the end of the season and joining Essex on loan is another chapter in a desperately sad story.
His altercation with bouncers in a Hove nightclub was initially quite funny, sadly that was before the full facts emerged.
In the cold light of day it could be seen as a cry for help, something I suspect more than one cricketer needs.
Panesar’s marriage has collapsed and he is away from family and friends both living in Hove and while on the relentless schedule that is county cricket.
He turned to alcohol alongside Rory Hamilton-Brown, another cricketer who needs support after the death of his friend Tom Maynard.
Salvation has never been found in the bottle of lager and while Hamilton-Brown is rebuilding his very existence away from the pain of the Oval, Panesar is in search of answers.
It’s very easy to say he throwing his life away, that he did not perform for England in New Zealand and that his actions recently deserve an exclusion from the England team.
But unlike Hamilton-Brown who escaped London for the seclusion of Hove, Monty needs acceptance, being in the England team was his buzz and his raison d’ĂȘtre.
No one knows how much trouble his personal life was in when he was away in New Zealand and hopefully Andy Flower is understanding enough not to call time on Panesar’s career with England.

But a bowling average of 40 for Sussex compared to 23 last year is not going to earn him a place in the team.

And it is not Monty who should seek answers, he should be given them by those closest to him, Sussex have allowed him closer to home, important for him.

But England need to tell him the door is not closed for good but a winter at home with his loved ones will be much better than one in the pressure cooker that is the Ashes in Australia.

It’s too easy to say sportsmen shouldn’t have troubles, they are human like everyone else.

Many of us are big Monty fans, the delight he had playing for England was infectious; hopefully it may happen again one day.


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