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Alastair Cook inks two-year deal with Essex

Alastair Cook has scored 523 runs from four matches including three hundreds and a fifty for Essex in the County Championship this season
Alastair Cook has scored 523 runs from four matches including three hundreds and a fifty for Essex in the County Championship this season
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England Test skipper Alastair Cook has extended his association with Essex by signing a new two-year deal with the club that he made his first-class debut for in 2003.

In the 2016 County Championship season, Cook has smashed 523 runs at an incredible average of 130.75 including three centuries and a fifty from just four games for Essex in Division Two.

With 69 points, Essex are currently at the top of the Division Two points table with two wins and as many draws from four games.

Acknowledging Cook’s role in Essex’s success at the start of the season, the club’s head coach Chris Silverwood is pleased that the left-hander will continue his career at Chelmsford.

"To have some of Alastair’s qualities in the squad for the opening matches of the season has been a real boost," Silverwood said.

"He was with us throughout pre-season and it has been great to have him around the club, especially the experience he passes on to younger members of the squad during training on a day-to-day basis.

"We know that his England commitments take up a vast amount of the season but when available he has shown how he can further strengthen our batting line-up, and it’s great he will be with the club for another two years."

Confident that there are exciting times ahead for Essex, Cook is hoping to continue playing at the club for as long as he can.

"It’s great to sign with Essex for another couple of years and I believe there are exciting times ahead for the club under the new head coach," the left-hander said.

"I’ve been at Essex for all of my career, since making my debut in 2003 and I hope to continue playing here for as long as possible."

After a form slump in 2014, Cook roared back with 1,364 Test runs in 2015 at an average of 54.56 along with three hundreds and eight fifties while also leading England to victory in the 2015 Ashes.

Cook needs just 36 more runs to reach 10,000 runs in Test cricket and if he gets there in the upcoming series against Sri Lanka, he will become the youngest player to reach the landmark, beating Indian legendary batsman Sachin Tendulkar.

© Cricket World 2016