Middlebrook signs new Essex deal

CricketAll-rounder James Middlebrook set his sights on an England call-up after signing a two-year contract extension to keep him at Essex until the end of the 2009 season.

Cricket

All-rounder James Middlebrook set his sights on an England call-up after signing a two-year contract extension to keep him at Essex until the end of the 2009 season.

The 30-year-old has scored over 3000 first-class runs and taken 220 first-class wickets with his off-spin since joining Essex from Yorkshire in 2002.

Middlebrook, who claimed his highest first-class score of 127 against Middlesex earlier this season, told the Essex website: "I'm delighted to have signed a new two-year deal at Essex.

"I feel I am at the peak of my career, playing good cricket, so Essex have rewarded me with a two-year contract.

"Over the last few years I've had my sights on making the (England) one-day side.

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"People like Alastair Cook and Ravi Bopara have already made their one-day mark for England so I need to continue to put in the hard work for Essex.

"I feel that I have put in the performances as a spin-bowler and have also been given a few opportunities as a pinch-hitter recently.

"If I can get more runs then I feel I can make myself into an all-rounder for England."

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