Ripley: Northants can’t afford to bring Panesar back

Monty Panesar won't be making a return to Northants
Monty Panesar won't be making a return to Northants

David Ripley says Northants can’t afford to bring Monty Panesar back to the County Ground.

Panesar has been training with his former club as he bids to get back in the game following his release by Essex at the end of last season.

However, head coach Ripley insists Northants don’t have the financial clout to offer the left-arm spinner a contract.

“He’s had a couple of nets with us be he’s had a shoulder operation now because he’s had a bit of a niggle, so he’s had some surgery,” Ripley said.

“Barry (Goudriaan), our physio, has remained in contact with Monty since he left and Barry’s been helping him with his shoulder.

“He just joined in a couple of practices with us, we were more than happy for him to do so, and that’s really all that’s happening there.

“We just wanted to do the right thing really. He lives in Luton.

“We have no money to add anything to our squad and hopefully Monty can get himself back on track - that’s the main thing.

“He’s come out and been speaking about his troubles and he’s confronted some illness.

“He’s been very good when we’ve seen him, looked in good form and got a glint in his eye.

“He’s got the main challenges ahead if he gets back involved with a county and a county cricket season.

“Hopefully he can stay well.”

Earlier this month, Panesar opened up about his mental illness, revealing he has been counselled by a mentoring organisation.

He said he had suffered from feelings of paranoia and says those feelings had an impact on his performances.

But Panesar remains a talented player, having taken 167 wickets in 50 Tests, and the ECB could be keen to get him back in the game as they seek to solve their spin problems.

It had been suggested that the ECB could fund the player’s salary, and when asked whether that was a possibility, Ripley said: “I don’t know to be honest.

“Our budget is done and if we find any outside finance then certainly my priority and the club’s priority is T20 cricket.

“Monty would be a nice addition to your four-day squad, but that’s not our priority at this stage.”