It?s hard to believe Monty Panesar only arrived on the international cricketing scene in March 2006. His electric performances against India and in the Ashes series have seen him catapulted to cult hero status in a matter of months, and widely rated as England?s best spin bowler for 30 years. In MONTY?S TURN, Panesar takes a look at his extraordinary rise to stardom. Monty?s formative cricket years were not those of the typical English cricketer. Taught spin bowling by a friend of his father, Hitu Naik, his first experience of league cricket was with the Luton Town and Indians CC, a team that played in the Hertfordshire League. His raw talent and utter dedication to learning his craft as a bowler soon brought him to the attention of other clubs, and saw him signed to Northamptonshire before he had completed his degree at Loughborough. Since his call-up to the England senior squad in Panesar?s life seems to have been a whirlwind of headlines and hero worship. In spite of all the adulation Monty has maintained an incredible ability to keep a cool head. The national outcry that met his exclusion from the first two Ashes Tests placed the weight of a despondent England?s expectations on his comparatively inexperienced shoulders, but Panesar responded to the pressure with a scorching performance. His tally of 5 wickets for 92 runs on his opening appearance in the 3rd Test lifted English spirits and secured his place in the nation?s affections. Also well known to be the first Sikh to represent a nation other than India in Test cricket, Monty credits his religion with giving him his now famous discipline in the nets. His dedication, scintillating talent, and unique celebration style have made him a national treasure and have even seen him praised by England?s harshest critic, Shane Warne. He has declared his ambition to be the best, and it would seem that the now it truly is time for MONTY?S TURN.
Mudhsuden Singh Panesar, affectionately known as Monty, was born in Luton in 1982, where he now lives with his family. Despite his cricket commitments he still found time to graduate in computer science from Loughborough University in 2005.