Glamorgan Cricket: Captain Cooke signs two-year extension

By Nick WebbBBC Sport Wales
Chris Cooke is 228 short of 5,000 first class runs for Glamorgan
Chris Cooke is 228 short of 5,000 first class runs for Glamorgan

Glamorgan captain Chris Cooke has signed a two-year contract extension to keep him at the club until 2023.

Cooke, 34, has been with Glamorgan since 2013 and will be captain for the third year this summer.

"I'm over the moon to extend for the next three years, I love playing here at Glamorgan and I'm excited to get going this year," said Cooke.

"I've loved the past decade and hopefully I can play for a few more years yet."

Johannesburg-born Cooke played his initial first-class cricket for Western Province in South Africa, but was spotted by Glamorgan during a spell in the club game in Hampshire.

After starting as a hard-hitting white-ball batsman and boundary fielder, he gained a Championship place before taking over first wicket-keeping duties from Mark Wallace and then the captaincy.

"When I signed I had few doubts over whether I could cut it in the four-day team and I saw myself, along with other people, as just a one-day specialist.

"To be coming up to a hundred first-class games, to find a technique for longevity in that format, and to be captain is something I'm extremely proud of, so I'm excited to push on," Cooke told BBC Sport Wales.

Cooke topped the run-scorers in the brief and difficult 2020 Bob Willis Trophy campaign, leading the battle to salvage draws against Worcestershire and Gloucestershire, and was second in the T20 run tallies.

After an appearance at T20 Finals day in 2017 and coming close to promotion from Division Two of the Championship in 2019, Cooke hopes to win silverware before the end of his time with Glamorgan..

He is likely to start the season batting in the middle order and keeping wicket, after an experiment with batting higher and Tom Cullen taking over the gloves to relieve some of his heavy work-load.

"We've got a few options in the way the team's set up, one is for me to bat a bit higher and to field at mid-on, we'll have to see how the pre-season games go," said Cooke.

"But at the moment I see myself probably batting a bit lower and taking the gloves."

Glamorgan will play intra-squad games before taking on the Cardiff Universities side and Somerset in friendlies, as preparation for their Championship opener away to Yorkshire on 8 April.

Meanwhile Queensland are set to reach the final of the Sheffield Shield, causing a delay in the arrival of Australian pair Marnus Labuschagne and Michael Neser at Glamorgan until the end of April.

Glamorgan are reviewing plans to cover for their absence.

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