Eyeing a successful return to cricket, former England spinner Monty Panesar wants to do everything to shed the unwanted tag of a ‘bad boy’ which has haunted him from several years. He feels the image of him being a bad boy is wrong. “I love the game. I’m not a bad egg in the dressing room, I’m actually a nice guy,” Monty was quoted by the Daily Mail.

“I want people to remember the good Monty, but it takes a while to eradicate bad memories. It’s like I’m a fireball and people are worried that if they get too close to me they’ll get burnt.”

“I’m mentally and physically 100 percent back to my best and I’ve been good for the last two years,” the 37-year-old added.

After being treated for the “paranoia/schizophrenia” which bedevilled him over the past few years.

The Luton-born bowler, who became a bit of a cult hero at his peak taking 167 wickets in 50 Tests — also thanked former England captain Mike Brearley for helping him enormously during the tough phase. Brearley is a respected psychoanalyst. Monty’s career has declined since being unceremoniously let go by Sussex in 2013 — the same year he made the last of his Test appearances — which came after he urinated on a nightclub bouncer.

Panesar’s depression started to spiral and contributed towards an unhappy stint at Essex and had a brief spell at Northamptonshire, where he started his career and first came to national attention.

However, since being released by them in 2016 he has yet to find another county willing to gamble on him. “My parents became worried. They wanted me to see someone,” he said.

“I had always thought strong people couldn’t have a problem. My cricket had always gone the way I had planned it, but suddenly things started going in a direction I hadn’t experienced since childhood.”

“It was a guy called Peter Gilmore who said I was suffering from paranoia/schizophrenia and that shocked me massively.

“Mike Brearley told me to be careful about the things I was saying to myself. Some experts thought I’d never get better but I knew I could fight it, come through it.”

(With Agency Quotes)