Samuel James Cook
August 04, 1997, Chelmsford, Essex
Right hand bat
Right arm medium fast
Essex's "Little Chef" enjoyed a rapid rise during the 2017 title-winning season, progressing from university cricketer to first-team debutant and then bagging two five-fors in his first four Championship appearances at the sharp end of the campaign. By the following summer, he was regularly taking the new ball alongside Jamie Porter, demonstrating excellent control and an ability to move the ball both ways while operating at a slippery, medium-fast pace.
In 2019, he enjoyed his best season yet, finishing with 32 wickets at 21.03 as Essex lifted the Championship trophy again; there was also an appearance at T20 Finals Day, helping to secure more silverware, although it was with the red ball that his skills were most apparent. In August, he ran amok at Canterbury on the way to career-best innings figures of 7 for 23, and a maiden ten-wicket haul, as Kent were shot out for 40 and Essex secured a come-from-behind win that kept them in the title hunt.
A student at Loughborough University, where he read history and international relations, Cook played for the MCCU team before making his Essex debut against the touring West Indians. He made quite an impact in late season, claiming 5 for 18 as Essex, freshly confirmed as Championship winners for the first time in 25 years, dismissed Hampshire for 76 to claim a 108-run victory at the Ageas Bowl. That represented a remarkable turnaround considering that Essex's title celebrations seemed to have been going on a little too long when they were dismissed for 76 and made to follow-on.
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