England legend relished chance to make lasting memories with Essex
PUBLISHED: 14:00 15 October 2017
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For a man who has won so much, even Alastair Cook is amazed at what Essex have done and explains why it’s a special achievement
Alastair Cook has enjoyed a phenomenal career and been involved in so many highs, but believes Essex’s class of 2017 will look back in 10 years and be astonished by what they’ve achieved.
Chris Silverwood’s team were tipped by many to struggle this year, with so much talk about how there is a big difference between County Championship Division One and Division Two.
But Essex proved the critics all wrong and not only that, they did so in stunning fashion by winning 10 and drawing four of their games to finish 72 points ahead of their nearest challengers Lancashire.
“In 10 years time we’ll look back and this will be the season we won 10 out of 14 games,” said Cook.
“Middlesex won it in 2016 with only six out of 16, so for us to win the amount of times we did it, makes it very special.
“Whatever we did at certain times seemed to turn to gold, but it won’t be as easy for us next year unfortunately. We’d like to bank 60 of those points we have now and put them onto our total for next season, but the group will stay the same.
“I think we could even make one or two additions, which will only strengthen us, so the guys have just got to drive forward.
“We have seen Middlesex win in 2016 and then not have the best of times this season, so we need to be wary of that and work hard to carry this on.”
Cook may not be around for Essex as much in 2018, but the fact he has played seven times during this remarkable campaign makes it extra special for him.
The England opener scored 667 runs in Division One and had an average of 66.70 after scoring three centuries, including 193 during a record first-wicket stand of 373 with Nick Browne against Middlesex in June.
Cook added: “To say you are a county champion is a very special thing and to play a small part in it means a lot.
“We saw so many people at the club on that last day and that really makes you appreciate how happy a club it is at the moment and to win 10 games out of 14 is very special.”
Not only did Cook impress in the County Championship, he also hit form in the Royal London One-Day Cup with Essex and was their leading run-scorer in the competition with 636.
A close loss in the semi-finals at home to Nottinghamshire was the only sour note on an otherwise outstanding 2017 for the club.
“It was nice to be part of something for a period of time, rather than just play two or three games,” said Cook.
“Normally I do a couple, but the way the schedule worked it was really nice to play a bit more. The semi-final is one that probably got away, but apart from that we can’t moan too much.”