Stephen James Cook
July 31, 1953, Johannesburg, Transvaal
Right hand Bat
Right arm Offbreak
Jimmy Cook was an exceptional opening batsman who was unfortunate in that most of his career coincided with the twilight days of the apartheid regime. By the time he made his belated international debut he was almost 40 and past his best. Originally a middle-order batsman for Transvaal, it was when he moved to become an opener that his career took off. He broke almost every domestic record for his province, and when he finally got a chance overseas - with Somerset - he underlined his quality with a huge number of runs, more than 7500 in three summers, including 28 hundreds. A first-choice for South Africa against various rebel touring sides, he was not picked when South Africa returned to the international fold, but finally made his Test debut against India in 1992-93. By then, however, he had begun to show weakness against pace and his fielding, which had been brilliant in his youth, was letting him down. His enthusiasm remained undiminished, and in his latter years he captained Transvaal with success. He turned his hand to coaching, first as director of coaching with the UCBSA, and then in a unsuccessful stint with Hampshire which ended in his dismissal in 2002. As a coach at King Edward School in Johannesburg he oversaw the development of Graeme Smith. He went on to become a batting coach for the Highveld Lions.
Batting & Fielding