DateLine: 6th October 2009
English left-arm spinner Monty Panesar has joined South African franchise the Highveld Lions as he attempts to regain his England place.
The 27-year-old was not on the list of centrally contracted players named by the ECB last month, having slipped behind Graeme Swann and Adil Rashid in the international pecking order.
"I am delighted to be joining the Lions as the overseas professional for the South African domestic season this English winter," said Panesar.
"To play first-class cricket for such a prestigious team is a privileged opportunity, and one which I am relishing."
Even his county stint with Northamptonshire wasn't great as he picked up just 18 wickets in the LV County Championship this season at an average of 59.44.
"Having practised with (head coach) Dave Nosworthy and the Lions players last January for 10 days prior to going to West Indies with England, I know what superb facilities and friendly people await me in Johannesburg," he added.
"(Chief executive) Alan Kourie was very helpful to me on my last trip, and I look forward to picking his and other people's brains further as I seek to develop my bowling and all-round game in the challenging environment of South African cricket.
"Additionally, I welcome the opportunity to work with young cricketers and their coaches in South Africa to help the next generation of people achieve their dreams in whatever way I can."
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