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Monty Panesar speaks about Career Highlights, The Ashes & Sportside

Speaking at an event for grassroots sport app Sportside, Monty Panesar spoke about his career highlights, the upcoming Ashes 2021 and the importance of Sportside for club cricket.

How did you get into cricket and who were some of your idols growing up?

Monty Panesar: I think when I was growing up I always looked at Bishan Singh Bedi the left-arm spinner,  who played for Northants. David Gower was another, Graham Gooch, Ian Botham. I didn't realise how much he achieved in the 80s, it was more in the 90s, the 92' world cup in particular I think. When I watched England, and Allan Lamb getting bowled and all that kind of stuff. 

Then in the 90s just watching England bat, Mike Atherton in particular would always get after McGrath, I remember when he got 99 then run out against Australia. So yes, it was amazing.

You then got the perfect start to International cricket with your wicket of Tendulkar, how was that?

Monty Panesar: Mate, that was just like... You know when you think to yourself 'is this really happening'? I can't believe I got the best player out in the world, y'know? It's one of my favourite memories and moments in life if you ask me.

What other career highlights would stand out for you?

Monty Panesar: Cardiff in particular, obviously not known for my batting and that was one of my favourite moments. In Sydney, I didn't play but we won in Australia on Australian soil and that was amazing. We all sat togther on Australian soil beating Australia, I knew I was going to remember it for a long, long time. Then Mumbai as well, I think in particular when I took I think 11 wickets and we won that Test match, for the first time in 27 years, so that was just amazing.

Speaking of Australia, do you have any predictions for the upcoming Ashes?

Monty Panesar: I hope England have their strongest team out, with four months away I'm just not sure. Will there be certain players who want to go home, will they be allowed family and friends around. I don't know really, it's so questionable, if England can't find their best top six I think Australia probably win the Ashes. They can't solely rely on Joe Root, James Anderson, Stuart Broad and Ben Stokes. They need some of the younger players to come through against the fast bouncy pitches.

How important are cricket clubs in bringing together the cricket community after the last year?

Monty Panesar: I think they play a huge role, people during the pandemic suffer from loneliness so it's a place you can go and meet your friends. I play at Twickenham cricket club and I absolutely love it; they've got Scott Newman, Gurjit Sandhu and I think generally the club it's self enjoy me being there. There are some young academy players who want to get into the 2nd or 1st team, coaches will say go play a match against Twickenham and you've got to bat well, he's an ex-international cricketer and that will help them get into the 2nd or 1st team.

It's amazing, I think playing sport and being part of a club helps with your friendship and they tend to say that. Among men, we tend to have the chats that are on our mind in a dressing room environment, or we're together in that sort of pub culture and you tend to just talk about the week. I think it's really important to be apart of sports club.

And how do you think an app like Sportside can aid that?

Monty Panesar: I think what Sportside can do is it can help those that are quite introverted or somebody looking for a new sport and aren't sure where to look. It's easy, you go on the app much like deliveroo you look at what food you want, it's the same with this and the sport you want. Type it in and it's all there, it's easy and accessible and that's what you want it to be.

Monty Panesar was speaking at an event on behalf of Sportside. Sportside is the innovative mobile app helping to connect millions of grassroots sports participants.

Discover more about Sportside and how to download the app here: https://sportside.com/

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