Monty Panesar, the England left-arm spinner, will be released from his contract with county side Sussex following the conclusion of the 2013 season. The decision follows after an investigation by the club into Panesar's drunken brawl on August 5, when he was fined by the police for urinating on bouncers after being ejected from a Brighton night club.
That means Panesar would be a free agent starting September 27, 2013. Additionally, Sussex have agreed to Panesar's request of being allowed to play on loan for a club in Division Two of the County Championship. Sections of the English media reported that he was likely to spend the remainder of the season on loan with Northamptonshire, his former club.
"Clearly this season has been a very difficult time for Monty Panesar. Having reviewed the whole situation, the Club has agreed that Monty be released from his contract," said Zac Toumazi, chief executive of Sussex Cricket. "This will give him every opportunity to put his personal and professional life back on track."
Mark Robinson, Sussex's Professional Cricket Manager, added: "Monty has been an integral part of the professional cricket team and has been a valuable contributor to the overall performance of the club during his time at Sussex. He is an outstanding bowler. I would like to thank Monty for his contribution and wish him well for the future."
In a statement released by the club, Panesar acknowledged the challenges he faced off the field. "I have endured a challenging time this year off the field and my frustrations have sometimes got the better of me professionally," he said. "I apologise for letting the club, my colleagues and my fans down. I have re-engaged with Neil Burns at London County Mentoring, to help to develop my cricket further and I feel that Neil, along with a trusted support structure in place around me will help me put my personal and professional problems behind me and enable me to put all my energies and focus into the game and a new club."
Panesar, who was picked in the England squad for the third Ashes Test in Old Trafford, was subsequently left out of the squad for the fourth Test in Durham. It is also widely believed that Panesar's off-field misdemeanours led to his dropping from the series finale at The Oval with the England selectors picking Simon Kerrigan, the uncapped Lancashire bowler, as the second spin option.
"I am determined to do whatever it takes to gain selection for England this winter. I want to become the best I can be," said Panesar. "I believe that if I maintain the bowling progress I have made in recent weeks which enabled me to be selected for the Test squad at Old Trafford, I can fulfil my long-held ambition of becoming the best spin bowler in the world, over time."