Troubled England spinner Monty Panesar apologized for letting Sussex down and said he was aiming to regain his Test place as he announced on Monday he was quitting the south-coast county.
The 31-year-old left-armer was fined by police for urinating in public after he was ejected from a Brighton nightclub on Aug. 5.
“I apologize for letting the club, my colleagues and my fans down,” Panesar said. “I am determined to do whatever it takes to gain selection for England this winter. I want to become the best I can be.”
Sussex conducted their own investigation into the incident and on Monday issued a statement confirming Panesar had played his last match for the club.
It was later announced he would be playing on loan for Essex in the second division of the County Championship for the rest of the season, before severing his ties with Sussex on Sept. 27.
“I am grateful to Sussex for allowing me to be released from my contract for 2014 and 2015 in order to explore other opportunities to further develop my cricket. I want to give myself the best chance of playing all forms of the game at the highest level,” Panesar said. “I would like to thank Sussex for the opportunities, experiences and support I have enjoyed at the club since 2010, and my gratitude for the contribution Sussex have made in providing me with a platform to gain selection for England on three successive winter tours.”
“I have endured a challenging time this year off the field and my frustrations have sometimes got the better of me professionally,” Panesar, whose wife is reportedly filing for divorce, added.
Panesar played the last of his 48 Tests against New Zealand in Auckland in March, but was included in England’s squad for the third Ashes Test at Old Trafford in Manchester.
“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 fulfill my long-held ambition of becoming the best spin bowler in the world, over time,” Panesar said.
Sussex chief executive Zac Toumazi added: “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.”