Cook returns for Essex

PUBLISHED: 15:49 04 June 2015 | UPDATED: 15:49 04 June 2015

England captain Alastair Cook returns to action for Essex (pic: Martin Rickett/PA)

England captain Alastair Cook returns to action for Essex (pic: Martin Rickett/PA)

PA Wire/Press Association Images

England Test captain set to make seasonal bow for Eagles in T20 Blast

Alastair Cook will make his first appearance of the summer for the Essex Eagles when he plays in their NatWest T20 Blast match with Surrey at the Kia Oval on tomorrow night.

The England Test captain last represented his county in the short form of the game in May last year, when he assisted them to an 8 wicket success at Lord’s, contributing 22 out of an opening stand of 81 with Mark Pettini.

Now Cook makes a return to the ground where he recorded a T20 century playing for Essex in 2009. On that occasion, the Eagles won by 84 runs and they will hope that the return of Cook will prove inspirational to lift what has been a wretched start to their season.

Bottom of the table in the County Championship, Essex are also propping up the South Group in the NatWest T20 Blast, having managed just one win from their five matches.

Head Coach Paul Grayson is delighted to welcome Cook back into a 14-man squad. “He’s a class player, as everyone knows, and his presence will be a boost for us,” he said.

“We’ve had a difficult few weeks but I’m sure we’ll turn things around, hopefully starting with a win on Friday night. Having Cooky around will boost everyone in our dressing room, he loves playing for Essex and we love having him around.

“Surrey beat us at Chelmsford a few weeks ago and so we have a score to settle with them but we know they are a good side and we’ll have to be at the top of our game if we are to succeed.

“We haven’t made a good start to our campaign, we know that but we are determined to get things right. At this stage, we just want to get a win from somewhere. Maybe by winning a couple of important moments in the game, such as taking a brilliant catch, that will inspire the group.

“One of the key things though is to make sure we do the basics better than the opposition because generally, those teams that do the basics better than their opponents are the most consistent and with consistency you get performances and you get results.

Essex Eagles Squad to face Surrey on Friday evening;

Ryan ten Doeschate (27) captain; Jesse Ryder (76); Alastair Cook (26); Tom Westley (21); Ravi Bopara (25); Kishen Velani (8); James Foster (7) wicket-keeper; Greg Smith (83); Graham Napier (17); David Masters (9); Reece Topley (6); Shaun Tait (4); Aron Nijjar (19); Jamie Porter (44)

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