County news April 5, 2017

Hip problem rules Cook out of Championship start

ESPNcricinfo staff

Play 02:21
Cook ready for next phase

The much-anticipated early-season match-up between Alastair Cook and James Anderson has been scrubbed with Cook, the former England captain, out of Essex's opening Specsavers County Championship match against Lancashire with a hip problem.

A scan on Cook's left hip has ruled out a serious injury but he will undergo an injection to try and ease the problem he has been managing for "several weeks" according to an ECB statement and will therefore sit out the first round of the Championship.

The match against Lancashire would have been Cook's first first-class outing since the Test series against India in December after which he stepped down as England's Test captain in January.

"I've got a sore hip, which is not getting right," Cook said. "We're going to go for a different bit of treatment and hopefully it will be all right for Somerset. It's just frustrating to miss the first game."

Even though his next England assignment is three months away, Cook added he did not want to risk making the problem worse. "That's the key in one sense [not taking chances], the first Test match is in July. Ultimately the hip's not quite right, so it needs to get right before you can play. It's been going for a month or so now."

Earlier this week, Cook spoke to ESPNcricinfo about the transition from being a captain back to a player and said it was taking some adjusting to. "I won't miss going into all the extra press conferences, he said. "But being at the centre of it, being involved in a lot of decision-making, was the excitement of the job. Not doing that any more, will probably take a while to get used to.

"Ultimately I know it was the right decision for myself and the team but that doesn't make it any easier. It has been time to move on as a person and a player."

He added that he was eager to return to the middle for Essex ahead of the resumption of England's Test cricket in July when they face South Africa. "It's the next phase of my career," he said. "I've really enjoyed playing for Essex in pre-season and that's the most important thing. I'm refreshed and raring to go. It's time to move on."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • J.Felix-Languar on April 5, 2017, 19:56 GMT

    D.S.A. That's a good call in every respect.

  • D.S.A on April 5, 2017, 18:50 GMT

    While he would have scored runs for fun in Division 1, this has helped Essex avoid a tough predictament. Chopra was brought back for all 3 forms of the game, Browne scored 1000+ runs in Division 2 last year, and Cook specialises in First-Class cricket, and is one of England's best batsmen in Test match cricket. The hip problem will allow the Browne-Chopra partnership to be established across all 3 formats, which is no bad factor.

    Essex are being underestimated in D 1. Far from looking at survival, I see them as one of the contenders for the title. They have quality throughout the line-up, and a good combination of youth and experience, so desire and motivation should be less of an issue. They are a dark-horse, by virtue of just getting to D 1, but they are much better than Hampshire, Warwickshire and Lancashire, at the very least.

  • md111 on April 5, 2017, 11:42 GMT

    Big shame that still looking forward to Friday but Essex needed Cook for as many games as possible, they'll need Chopra to do a job now. Still get to see some good players on both sides. Worry from Essex point of view that if Anderson is on good from they could be swept up. Hopefully not 20 all out though

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