London: Spinner Monty Panesar was given an England increment contract for 2012-13 on Thursday as a reward for his fine recent form. The Sussex left-armer was previously on a central contract with the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) until 2009 when his deal was not renewed.
However, he made a huge impact in the historic series win in India before Christmas and his value to the national team was further highlighted this week when Graeme Swann had to pull out of the Test series in New Zealand to have surgery on his elbow.
Non-contracted players can earn an England increment contract via a points system and Panesar qualifies, having played three Test matches against India and also the current Test match against New Zealand. "This award reflects the contribution Monty has made to the Test team during the winter and I would like to congratulate him on his achievements," ECB national selector Geoff Miller said.
The ECB awards up to 16 central contracts of 12 months duration and that wage replaces their county salary, although the county retains the player's registration. The ECB also offers additional 12-month contracts, known as increment contracts, to players who are involved in international squads but are not established as key figures in the Test team. With these increment contracts, the county continues to pay the player's salary while the ECB pay an incremental salary. The county receives compensation from the ECB for matches missed while on England duty.