Glamorgan's new South Africa batsman Stephen Cook set for Derby debut

Glamorgan's South African batsman Stephen Cook
Stephen Cook made his South Africa Test debut in 2016
Specsavers County Championship Division Two, Derbyshire v Glamorgan
Date: Tuesday 4 September Time: 10:30 Venue: County Ground, Derby
Coverage: Commentary on BBC Sport website and app; coverage on BBC Radio Derby, updates on BBC Radio Wales.

Glamorgan's South Africa opening batsman Stephen Cook will make his county debut in the Championship match away to Derbyshire.

The 35-year-old says he hopes to help Glamorgan's younger batsmen both on and off the field as former South African cricketers did for him in his career.

Cook takes over as Glamorgan's official overseas player from Shaun Marsh.

"My inclusion is a multi-faceted approach, runs matter and experience at the top of the order," said Cook.

"But I think it's more than that. It's my experience and level head and hopefully making a difference to the younger guys in the team, and adding value in which ever way I can."

Cook, who played in 11 Test matches between 2016 and 2017, scoring three centuries, replaces Australian Marsh, who managed just four Championship games because of international call-ups and latterly a shoulder injury.

Usman Khawaja filled in for four matches, but Glamorgan have been without an overseas batsman as they fielded an inexperienced top order for their innings defeats against Durham and Warwickshire and now find themselves 30 points adrift at the bottom of division two.

"I reflect on my younger years and I was really blessed to have players such as Neil McKenzie, Adam Bacher and guys who played for South Africa were senior guys around my domestic changing room who I learned a lot from.

"I feel it's that stage of my career where I can pay that forward and make a difference, it's adding value in whichever way I can, a role I'm familiar with from the Lions."

Glamorgan head coach Robert Croft said: "We've had some guys in at the deep end for a long period of time, we as a club believe in our plan for the future, but it will take time, up until then we do need experienced players to complement our young players."

Durham 'eye-opener'

Cook played half the 2017 season for Durham, scoring 348 runs at an average of 26, and hit 274 at an average of 45 in the One-Day Cup.

His highest Championship score was 89 not out in Durham's win over Glamorgan at Chester-le-Street.

"Last year was an eye-opener, it was difficult circumstances since I was in the battle of what they were going through at the time (having been docked points and losing players because of financial issues).

"I'd also been left out of the Test team and my mind wasn't as clear as I would have liked, so I come in a different frame of mind this year."

Glamorgan could be in need of an overseas batsman again next year if Marsh retains his Test and one-day international place.

"It's not impossible I could play for the Proteas again, but it's a lot less likely than 18 months ago. I'm hopeful (of playing more UK county cricket) as I feel as if I've got a lot of runs still locked in the kit-bag that I can put out there," added Cook.

"Hopefully I'll contribute to a few victories in the next four weeks and we'll see how the cards lie after that."

Bull and Van der Gugten return

Glamorgan spinner Kieran Bull returns to the first team against Derbyshire for his first appearance since 2015.

The 23-year-old has impressed with both the bat and the ball for the county's second team this season to earn a recall to the first team.

Meanwhile Timm van der Gugten returns after missing two Championship matches with a shoulder injury.

The Dutch seamer dislocated his shoulder against Surrey in Glamorgan's final Vitalty Blast match of the season.

Glamorgan: Hogan (c), Cook, Brown, Cullen, Lloyd, Carlson, Cooke, Wagg, Bull, Smith, Van der Gugten, Lawlor

Derbyshire: Godleman, Lace, Madsen, Hughes, Wilson, Critchley, Hosein, Dal, Andersson, Palladino, Viljoen, Ferguson, Qadri, Rampaul

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