Monty Panesar is in line to make his debut for new loan club Essex against Northants at Colchester tomorrow.
The left-arm spinner has joined Essex until the end of the season after it was announced he will be leaving Sussex, despite having two years left to run on his existing contract at Hove.
Northants have shown an interest in signing their former spin bowler on a permanent basis in the winter, and chief executive David Smith has said they are still interested in doing that.
But until September, Panesar is an Essex player and he is set to start against the County in their LV= Championship Division Two clash that begins at Colchester tomorrow.
The move offers the player a lifeline to secure his place in England’s Ashes squad this winter.
Panesar was earlier on Monday released from his Sussex contract for his drunken behaviour outside a Brighton nightclub on August 5.
He has wasted no time in agreeing the move to Essex, who confirmed on their official website that the 31-year-old will be available to play their remaining six LV= County Championship Division Two matches.
“I want to give myself the best chance of playing all forms of the game at the highest level,” said Panesar, who joined Sussex from Northants in 2010.
“I am determined to do whatever it takes to gain selection for England this winter. I want to become the best I can be.
“I believe that if I maintain the bowling progress I have made in recent weeks which enabled me to be selected for the Test squad at Old Trafford, I can fulfil my long-held ambition of becoming the best spin bowler in the world, over time.”