• County news 2013

Panesar turns down rest schedule

David Hopps
March 21, 2013 « Rapid ring return for Groves | Chartbeat test »
Monty Panesar says he does not need a long rest like the other England players © Getty Images
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Monty Panesar is committed to a full programme of championship cricket in an attempt to bowl himself into form ahead of a three-Test series against New Zealand in May, which starts England's international summer.

Panesar's spin partnership with Graeme Swann was a prime reason for England's mastery over India on their home soil in the Test series before Christmas.

But he has found rewards harder to find in New Zealand and, with Swann recuperating from an elbow operation and uncertain whether he will be fit to face New Zealand, Panesar's well-being at the start of a packed England schedule is even more important than usual.

Panesar has persuaded England's management that, despite a heavy touring schedule, he has no need for the prolonged rest which has been drawn up for most other England players. He will be pitched straight into Sussex's championship season, against Yorkshire at Headingley on April 10.

Warwickshire, the defending county champions, will have to wait for the involvement of their England batsmen, Ian Bell and Jonathan Trott, until May under the player availability schedule drawn up by the England management.

Bell and Trott will be available for two Warwickshire championship matches - against Sussex and Middlesex - ahead of England's three-Test series against New Zealand, which begins at Lord's on May 16.

Under a scrupulously balanced decision process, most England players are guaranteed to play two championship games ahead of the first Investec Test.

Durham will benefit from Graham Onions' inactive winter. Onions' 64 wickets at 14.98 were instrumental in securing Durham's Division One status, eventually achieved with ease under the inspirational captaincy of Paul Collingwood, and he will be running in again for the opening championship match of the season against Yorkshire in Chester-le-Street on April 10.

Somerset are another winner with Nick Compton's appetite for match practice meaning that he is scheduled to return against Surrey at The Oval on April 17.

England player availability:

James Anderson (Lancashire): Available for LV= County Championship games against Kent (April 24-27) and Glamorgan (May 1-4). Unavailable for Yorkshire Bank 40 game against Durham (May 6) and Derbyshire (May 12). Schedule to be reviewed after May 4 ahead of first Investec Test.

Jonny Bairstow (Yorkshire): Available for all cricket from the start of season.

Ian Bell (Warwickshire): Available for championship games against Sussex (May 1-4) and Middlesex (May 8-11). Available for YB40 game against Kent (May 6). Unavailable for YB40 game against Sussex (May 12).

Ravi Bopara (Essex): Available for all cricket.

Tim Bresnan (Yorkshire): Availability to be determined following recovery from an elbow operation.

Stuart Broad (Nottinghamshire): Available for championship games against Derbyshire (April 24-27) and Durham (April 29- May 2). Schedule to be reviewed after May 2 ahead of first Test.

Jos Buttler (Somerset): Available for all cricket.

Alastair Cook (Essex): Available for championship games against Hampshire (April 29-May 2) and Lancashire (May 7-10). Unavailable for YB40 fixtures against Hampshire (May 3), Durham (May 5) and Scotland (May 12).

Nick Compton (Somerset): Available for championship games against Surrey (April 17-20), Warwickshire (April 25-28) and Yorkshire (May 7-10). Available for YB40 fixture against Unicorns (May 5). Unavailable for YB40 fixture against Yorkshire (May 11).

Jade Dernbach (Surrey): Available for all cricket.

Steven Finn (Middlesex): Available for championship games against Derbyshire (April 17-20) and Surrey (May 2-5). Unavailable for game against Cambridge MCCU (April 24-26). Schedule to be reviewed after May 5 ahead of first Test.

Eoin Morgan (Middlesex): Participating in the IPL. Available for all cricket on return.

Graham Onions (Durham): Available for championship games against Somerset (April 10-13), Warwickshire (April 17-20), Yorkshire (April 24-27) and Nottinghamshire (April 29-May 2). Schedule to be reviewed after May 2 ahead of first Test.

Monty Panesar (Sussex): Available for all cricket from April 10.

Samit Patel (Nottinghamshire): Available for all cricket.

Kevin Pietersen (Surrey): Availability to be determined following recovery from knee injury.

Matt Prior (Sussex): Available for championship games against Surrey (April 24-27) and Warwickshire (May 1-4). Available for YB40 fixture against Worcestershire (May 5) and Northamptonshire (May 10). Unavailable for YB40 fixture against Warwickshire (May 12).

Joe Root (Yorkshire): Available for game against Lancashire (April 16-18) and championship games against Durham (April 24-27), Derbyshire (April 29-May 2) and Somerset (May 7-10). Available for YB40 games against Glamorgan (May 5) and Somerset (May 11).

Graeme Swann (Nottinghamshire): Availability subject to recovery from elbow operation.

James Tredwell (Kent): Available for all cricket.

Chris Tremlett (Surrey): Available from start of season.

Jonathan Trott (Warwickshire): Available for championship games against Sussex (May 1-4) and Middlesex (May 8-11). Available for YB40 game against Kent (May 6). Unavailable for YB40 game against Sussex (May 12).

Chris Woakes (Warwickshire): Available for championship games against Derbyshire (April 10-13), Durham (April 17-20) and Sussex (May 1-4). Schedule to be reviewed after May 4 ahead of first Test.

David Hopps is the UK editor of ESPNcricinfo

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