County Championship: Cook back as Essex eye promotion

prv_b5007_1471928429As Essex eye a promotion to Divison One of the County Championship, Alastair Cook, England’s Test skipper, is set to return for the side’s next two Division Two matches.

The England captain will be available for the games against Leicestershire and Worcestershire after being released by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB), Essex announced on their website on Monday (August 22). Cook scored 573 runs in five games earlier in the summer, including three centuries.

“It is always a bonus to have a man of Cook’s calibre coming back to play for the club,” said Chris Silverwood, the Essex head coach. “He not only brings runs to the side but he offers his experience and knowledge to the younger players and is a valuable asset.”

Cook will give Essex a timely boost as they look to maintain the top spot in Division Two. The side currently has 171 points from 12 matches, 23 ahead of second-placed Leicestershire, with four matches remaining.

“He loves coming back and playing and we love having him so hopefully he can help us achieve our aims as the season nears its conclusion,” Silverwood added.

Since last playing for Essex, Cook led England to a 2-2 draw in the recently concluded four-match Test series against Pakistan.

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