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28 September 2010 | PR 10/146

Loughborough graduate Panesar makes Ashes squad


Monty Panesar in action

Loughborough MCC University graduate Monty Panesar has won a much-coveted spot in England’s Ashes Squad to tour Australia this winter. The popular left arm spin bowler, who took 52 wickets in a prolific domestic season with county side Sussex, will form part of the 16-man outfit who begin their series defence at The Gabba, Brisbane on 25 November.

“Monty deserves his opportunity and I’m delighted for him,” said former England Test bowler and two-time Ashes winner Graham Dilley, now head coach of Loughborough MCCU. “He has always had a tremendous attitude and I think his return to the England set-up is testament to the amount of hard work he has put in.”

Panesar came to Loughborough in 2001 to study Computing and Management and to benefit from the exceptional cricketing opportunity on offer. Thanks to funding from the MCC (Marylebone Cricket Club), young players at the University are able to further their sporting careers without compromising their education. Loughborough’s programme is recognised as a major success, both in terms of on-field results over recent years, but more importantly in terms of developing young Cricket talent and helping introduce fitter, stronger, better-prepared players into 1st Class Cricket.

And Panesar is a shining example of what can be achieved. Developing under the watchful eye of Dilley, Monty represented English and British Universities, MCC and Northamptonshire during his time as a student. International recognition arrived when successful stints at the National Cricket Academy based on the Loughborough campus and at the Darren Lehmann Academy in Adelaide led to an England test debut in 2006 against India. It was the first time that an England Test squad had included a graduate from one of the MCC Universities. Today, Panesar's 39 Test appearances to date have yielded 126 wickets, including an eight-wicket haul achieved on his Ashes debut in Perth 2006.

Furthermore Dilley, who spearheaded England's attack on the successful 1986-87 Ashes tour and offered valuable support with the bat alongside Ian Botham in the famous Headingley Test of 1981, believes Panesar has all the attributes to make his mark down under once again,

“Monty remains a potent weapon with the ball in his hand and is capable of taking wickets at any level. He offers proof that, through our funding from the MCC, we at Loughborough can provide young cricketers with the very best support, coaching and facilities to develop their sporting careers whilst they realise their full academic potential.”

MCC Universities have produced impressive results and in December 2009, as part of the club’s dedication to grassroots cricket, a further three-year investment of over £1.5million in the six University Centres was announced. The new deal took the club’s financial commitment to more than £4.5 million since 2005, when it took over as the sole funder and administrator from the ECB.

Panesar heads the long line of Loughborough success stories. The programme has already assisted in the development of England and National Academy cricketers, such as Chris Read (Notts CCC) and most recently Chris Nash (Sussex) and David Wainwright (Yorks). Other young players are making an impact on the First Class County game, including John Francis, Chris Benham and Jimmy Adams (Hampshire); Mark Powell, David Wigley and Rob White (Northants); Matthew Spriegel and Arun Harinath (Surrey) and Steve Selwood and Paul Borrington (Derbyshire). In 2009, 34% of all English-qualified professional cricketers had attended a university, 18% of which had come through the MCC university system.

Loughborough MCCU also received an additional £15,000 investment towards the ongoing development of its flourishing women’s programme. A number of graduates and current students represent the England Women's side, including Nicky Shaw, Lydia Greenway, Laura Harper, Laura Marsh and Tammy Beaumont.

Graduate Panesar was prominent in England’s 2009 Ashes victory, albeit in atypical fashion. In the dramatic climax of the first Test in Cardiff, last man Monty, unrenowned for his batting prowess, heroically batted out 35 balls of the Australian attack to earn England a crucial draw.


For all media enquiries contact:

John Spinks
Junior PR Officer
Loughborough University
T: 01509 223941
E: J.W.Spinks@lboro.ac.uk 

Notes for editors:

1.   More details about the Loughborough MCCU programme can be found here: http://www.loughboroughmccu.com/

2.  The full England Ashes Test Squad is as follows: Andrew Strauss (captain, Middlesex), Alastair Cook  (vice-captain, Essex), James Anderson (Lancashire), Ian Bell (Warwickshire), Tim Bresnan (Yorkshire), Stuart Broad (Nottinghamshire), Paul Collingwood (Durham), Steven Davies (wk, Surrey), Steven Finn (Middlesex), Eoin Morgan (Middlesex), Monty Panesar (Sussex), Kevin Pietersen (Hampshire), Matt Prior (wk, Sussex), Graeme Swann (Nottinghamshire), Chris Tremlett (Surrey), Jonathan Trott (Warwickshire).

3.   Loughborough is one of the country’s leading universities, with an international reputation for research that matters, excellence in teaching, strong links with industry, and unrivalled sporting achievement and its underpinning academic disciplines.

It was awarded the coveted Sunday Times University of the Year 2008-09 title, and is consistently ranked in the top twenty of UK universities in national newspaper league tables. In the 2010 National Student Survey, Loughborough was voted one of the top universities in the UK, and has topped the Times Higher Education league for the UK’s Best Student Experience every year since the poll's inception in 2006. In recognition of its contribution to the sector, the University has been awarded six Queen's Anniversary Prizes.

Loughborough is also the UK’s premier university for sport. It has perhaps the best integrated sports development environment in the world and is home to some of the country’s leading coaches, sports scientists and support staff. It also has the country’s largest concentration of world-class training facilities across a wide range of sports.

It is a member of the 1994 Group of 19 leading research-intensive universities. The Group was established in 1994 to promote excellence in university research and teaching. Each member undertakes diverse and high-quality research, while ensuring excellent levels of teaching and student experience.

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