Panesar defends his nets session with Tendulkar

Last Updated: Jul 22, 2011, 19:24 PM IST

London: England spinner Monty Panesar has defended his decision to have a net session with Sachin Tendulkar, saying that it was a chance for him to get some tips from the batting maestro.

Panesar bowled to Tendulkar at the Lord`s nets 12 days ago without the knowledge of his county, Sussex, and the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB).

"I had a bit of spare time during the Twenty20 and I thought it would be a good opportunity to see how the ball was coming out of my hand. He (Sachin) is obviously a wonderful batsman, one of the best in the world, and a wonderful human being as well. So I thought it would be a chance for me to get some tips for my bowling," Panesar said.

The slow left-armer has been a close friend of Tendulkar since he claimed the champion batsman`s wicket, his first in Test cricket, in Nagpur over five years ago.

"I`ve known him since I took my first Test wicket and the session was a massive benefit to me. It`s valuable for a youngster like me to have the chance to bowl against the best. These things are great opportunities and it gave me a chance to add further development to my game," Panesar said.

"Earlier in the year, I got some tips from Shane Warne in Australia and that feedback and support is valuable to me. It adds a bit more to my game and gives me confidence," he added.

Sussex manager Mark Robinson said the net session was not meant to help Tendulkar familiarise himself with the sort of deliveries he would expect from English bowlers during the Test series.

"It was a confidence boost to Monty. I don`t think anyone thought about anything else," said Robinson.

Panesar was not required for county duty that weekend and was also not supposed to take any permission from the English board since he does not have a central contract.

PTI