Alastair Cook: England opener not included in Essex squad for Hampshire game

Alastair Cook
Alastair Cook (second from right) was Edgbaston last week to watch Essex beat Warwickshire

Former England captain Alastair Cook will not play for new county champions Essex in this week's game against Hampshire at the Ageas Bowl.

The England and Wales Cricket Board made Cook, 32, available for the final two matches of the season.

Essex have named an unchanged 13-man squad for the away game against Hampshire, which begins on Tuesday.

Head coach Chris Silverwood has set the team the new goal of going through the entire Championship campaign unbeaten.

Last season's champions Middlesex went unbeaten, winning six matches and drawing the other 10.

Essex have won eight of their 12 games so far, with four ending in draws, and head the table by 56 points.

They will end the season at home to Yorkshire next week.

"It would be lovely to go through the season unbeaten and although we have already won the league, there will be no let-up in our approach to the remaining two games," 42-year-old Silverwood told the club website.

"We have been ruthless but that's the approach and attitude we want to keep building on."

Cook played seven games for Essex earlier in the summer, scoring 667 runs, including four centuries.

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