Alastair Cook in Essex side for Kia Oval trip to play Surrey
Alastair Cook will make his first appearance of the summer for the Essex Eagles when he plays in their NatWest T20 Blast match with Surrey at the Kia Oval on Friday night.
The England Test captain last represented his county in the short form of the game in May last year, when he assisted them to an eight-wicket success at Lord’s, contributing 22 out of an opening stand of 81 with Mark Pettini.
Now the 30 year-old Cook makes a return to the ground where he recorded a Twenty20 century playing for Essex in 2009.
On that occasion, he and Pettini figured in a first wicket partnership of 169 before the England batsman went onto record an unbeaten 100 in front of a 17,000 crowd.
On that occasion, the Eagles won by 84 runs and they will hope that the return of Cook will prove inspirational to lift what has been a wretched start to their season.
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Cook is due to play for Essex in their next LV= County Championship home match when they meet Derbyshire at Chelmsford starting on June 14, when he will aim to repeat the century he scored against the Peakites at Chelmsford last season.
He will also play for the county at Bristol against Gloucestershire the following week.
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Bottom of the table in the County Championship, Essex are also propping up the South Group in the NatWest T20 Blast, having managed just one win from five matches.
Head Coach Paul Grayson is delighted to welcome Cook back into a 14-man squad. “He’s a class player, as everyone knows, and his presence will be a boost for us.
“We’ve had a difficult few weeks but I’m sure we’ll turn things around, hopefully starting with a win on Friday night.
“Having Cooky around will boost everyone in our dressing room, he loves playing for Essex and we love having him around.
“Surrey beat us at Chelmsford a few weeks ago and so we have a score to settle with them but we know they are a good side and we’ll have to be at the top of our game if we are to succeed.
“However, we had a young side out on that occasion but we’ll have a very different side out on Friday night and hopefully we can get a win. We know that we have a group who are capable of going on a six or seven match unbeaten run and I’ve great confidence in the lads that they can do that.”