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Panesar signs for Essex

Essex have signed England international Monty Panesar on a two-year contract.

The 31-year-old, who is currently in Australia with the England Ashes squad as he looks to add to his 48 Test caps, joins following a successful loan spell towards the end of this season.

He took 14 wickets in six appearances for the county after arriving from Sussex in August.

Monty Panesar celebrates one of his 14 wickets taken in his six appearances for Essex during his loan spell this seasonThe left-arm spinner was released by his former club at the end of September and has now committed to Essex until 2015.

Panesar said: “I loved playing for Essex last season. In the short time I was there, I was made to feel very welcome, both in the team and around the club.

“I will always remember how the supporters and members gave me a heart-warming round of applause when I first came on to bowl at Colchester last August.

“It helped me to feel respected and loved as a cricketer after experiencing a challenging time in my life.

"I am determined to play my part in inspiring the team to be successful in all competitions. I want to help the club build towards the kind of success they enjoyed in its glory days under legendary captains Keith Fletcher and Graham Gooch.

“I love the 'family feel' of the club and value the role Essex has played in helping me move towards my best and gain selection for this winter's Ashes series."

Essex chief executive Derek Bowden added: “We are delighted that Monty has decided to join our club. He liked his time here at the end of last season and we enjoyed having him. He was on top of our list for new players and it's great to finalise his signing in good time for next season.”

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