County news February 11, 2011

Steven Crook signs for Middlesex

ESPNcricinfo staff

Former Lancashire and Northamptonshire allrounder Steven Crook has signed a one-year deal with Middlesex.

He has been on trial with the club since the start of the year and is now set to start full-time training with the squad as they gear up for the 2011 season.

"Steven has worked exceptionally hard during the sessions he has attended and made a positive impression on the coaches," Angus Fraser, Middlesex director of cricket, said.

"He is a talented cricketer who will add to our squad. Middlesex's coaches believe he possesses bags of potential and after a year out of the game his desire to perform is strong. He is delighted to be back in cricket and is keen to show everyone what he is capable of producing.

"In County Championship cricket Steven will initially act as cover for Gareth Berg, whose recovery from a stress fracture of the back is positive even though it is a bit slower than everyone expected. Gareth is expected to be fit for the start of the season but we feel we need cover in the allrounder department. Steven will push for a CB40 place straight away. In time there will be occasions where both Gareth and Steven play in the same Championship side."

Crook, 27, was born in Australia and played 35 first-class matches between 2003 and 2009, scoring 1271 runs at 31.52 and taking 59 wickets at 48.16. He played for Lancashire between 2003 and 2005 before moving to Northamptonshire, who released him at the end of the 2009 season.