Monty Panesar has been fined by police after urinating on nightclub bouncers who ejected him from a club in Brighton in the early hours of Monday.
Panesar, the left-arm spinner who was included in the England squad for the third Investec Ashes Test, was reportedly asked to leave the beachfront club, Shooshh, after a group of women complained that he was bothering them. Panesar, who had been part of the Sussex team defeated by Derbyshire in three days in a match that ended on Sunday, then walked up to the promenade above the club and urinated on the bouncers.
While Panesar ran off, the bouncers gave chase and caught up with him in a pizza parlour and, having restrained him and dragged him back to the club, called the police. Panesar was fined £90 and, through his spokesman, released a statement offering an "unreserved apology" for his behaviour.
Sussex CCC released a statement confirming that "an incident took place involving Monty Panesar in the early hours of Monday 5th August," just hours before England retained the Ashes at Old Trafford. Sussex continued to say "the matter is under full investigation."
A Sussex Police spokesman said: "A 31-year-old man received a fixed penalty notice for being drunk and disorderly after being seen urinating in public near the Shooshh Club in King's Road Arches, Brighton, around 4.13am on Monday."
The episode will do nothing to revive Panesar's career. Quite apart from the uncouth nature of the incident and the unsettling image of an international sportsman being asked to leave a club for bothering women, the England management will be unimpressed by Panesar being "drunk and disorderly" at 4am during an Ashes series in which he may yet take a part.
Panesar was dropped by Sussex earlier this season in part due to a poor on-field attitude. Struggling with a sore shoulder, he had fallen into the habit of stopping the ball with his boot in the field and throwing it back to the wicketkeeper underarm.
Panesar was also arrested and interviewed by the police in 2011 after a heated argument with his wife in a pub car park. He was subsequently released without charge.
Despite a tricky few months, however, Panesar enjoyed a fine tour of India at the end of 2012 where his 17 wickets in three Tests played a large part in England's victory. He has taken 164 wickets in his 48 Tests and, aged 31, could yet replace Graeme Swann in the England side when Swann, 34, retires.
George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo