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England captain Cook signs new Essex deal

Alastair Cook is staying at Essex. Credit: PA

England captain Alastair Cook has signed a new contract with Essex.

The 31-year-old made his debut for the county back in 2003 after coming through the academy.

Cook scored 643 runs in just seven games last season as Essex stormed to the County Championship Division Two title.

Cook's new deal will run until the end of the 2018 season.

It was an easy decision to sign with the club for another year. Although I am away with England a lot, this club means a lot to me and I am grateful for the opportunity they gave me as a youngster.

I love coming back to the club when I can and contributing to a title winning season meant a great deal.

– Alastair Cook, Essex
Ben Duckett had a remarkable season in the County Championship. Credit: PA

Meanwhile, Northamptonshire batsman Ben Duckett has been named the Cricket Writers' Club Young Player of the Year.

The 21-year-old enjoyed an incredible season at Northants, making 1,338 runs in the County Championship.

He could make his England debut this winter after being called up for the upcoming tour of Bangladesh.

Cambridgeshire's Charlotte Edwards has made history too - she won the inaugral women's prize.


England batsman Duckett commits future to Northants

Ben Duckett has been in sensational form for Northamptonshire. Credit: PA

Highly-rated Northamptonshire Steelbacks batsman Ben Duckett has signed a new contract with the county until the end of 2018.

The 21-year-old has been called up for England's upcoming tour of Bangladesh following a brilliant domestic season where he scored 1,338 runs in Division Two, including two double centuries.

That had led to speculation that other clubs would look to poach him away but Duckett has decided to commit his future to Northants.

The opportunities that I have had at Northamptonshire have enabled me to gain invaluable game time resulting in an amazing year for me.

I intend to make the most of playing for my country which is a dream come true, but I’m looking forward to coming back to Wantage Road and building on Northamptonshire’s success.

– Ben Duckett, Northamptonshire Steelbacks

Duckett has also been nominated for the Professional Cricketers' Association Player of the Year award.

Swardeston cricket team look ahead to national club final

Video report by ITV Anglia's Donovan Blake

Swardeston Cricket team, on the outskirts of Norwich, look ahead to the National club final in just over a week.

After claiming a league and cup double for this region, they're already halfway towards a national double after winning the NatWest T-20 Club competition earlier this week.

After defending their East Anglian Premier League title for a fifth year in a row, Swardeston won Norfolk's main one-day competition the Carter Cup last weekend. Then came Tuesday's T-20 triumph, beating local side Sandiacre in the final.

The trophy haul has been generated with a tight squad, including some players who represent Norfolk at Minor Counties level, but are mostly home produced.


Yorkshire's Will Rhodes joins Essex on Loan

Yorkshire all-rounder Will Rhodes has joined Essex on loan. Credit: PA Images

Yorkshire all-rounder Will Rhodes has joined Essex on loan until the end of the season.

The 21-year-old will be available for Essex's five remaining Specsavers County Championship matches, having played just twice for the White Rose in the longer format.

Yorkshire director of cricket Martyn Moxon said: "We feel, as does Will, that this is a great opportunity to play first-team cricket and to improve as a player.

"It will be a great experience for him and hopefully will help to develop him further as an all-round cricketer."

Essex coach Chris Silverwood, himself a former Yorkshire player, said: "Will is an exciting young all-rounder who we hope will contribute with both bat and ball for the remainder of the season.

"He is very highly thought of at Yorkshire but they are keen for him to get out and play some red-ball cricket, so we are pleased he decided to join the club."

Essex Eagles book their place in T20 Blast quarter-finals

Jesse Ryder and the rest of his Essex teammate have made the quarter-finals. Credit: PA

Essex Eagles have qualified for the quarter-finals of the T20 Blast - with a bit of a helping from the weather.

They were set a target of 185 to win against Glamorgan at Chelmsford but they didn't have to bat in the end after the rain came to their rescue.

That meant that the match was abandoned and Essex got the point they needed to make it through to the last eight.

The Eagles finished 4th in their group, just ahead of Surrey and Kent.

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