London, 19 August
Monty Panesar has been given a lifeline to secure his place in England’s Ashes squad this winter after Essex signed the slow left armer on loan for the rest of the season.
Panesar was earlier on Monday released from his Sussex contract for his drunken behaviour outside a Brighton nightclub on 5 August.
He has wasted no time in agreeing a move to Essex, who confirmed on their official website that the 31-year-old will be available to play their remaining six County Championship Division Two matches.
It was predicted he would return to Northamptonshire, with whom he started his career in 2001 before leaving for Sussex eight years later.
But his decision to sign for Essex means he will immediately face the recently-crowned Friends Life t20 champions in his first match with his new county on Tuesday.
Essex coach Paul Grayson said: "We are delighted to welcome Monty to the club for the remainder of the season.
"He is a world-class spinner and we are confident that he will have a positive impact on the team.
"He will join us from today and will hopefully be playing tomorrow at 11am against Northants."
In a statement, Panesar said: "I apologise for letting the club, my colleagues and my fans down. I am determined to do whatever it takes to gain selection for England this winter.”