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Cook signs new contract with Essex

Alastair Cook. Credit: PA

Essex and England opening batsman, Alastair Cook has signed a new two-year contract with the Club.

Cook, 31, has played 79 First-Class matches since making his debut in 2003 and has been an instrumental part of the team during the start of the 2016 season.

Cook played in Essex’s first four matches against Gloucestershire, Sussex, Northamptonshire and Worcestershire, hitting a total of 523 runs.

The England Captain has hit three centuries in 2016.

It’s great to sign with Essex for another couple of years and I believe there are exciting times ahead for the Club under the new Head Coach. I’ve been at Essex for all of my career, since making my debut in 2003 and I hope to continue playing here for as long as possible.

– Alastair Cook

Northants hoping Panesar can help them kick on

Video report by ITV News Anglia's Donovan Blake

The domestic season officially starts this weekend, and although the weather's certainly taken a turn for the worst in the last few days it won't stop Northamptonshire from donning their whites for their opening game in this year's County Championship.

First up for Northants is a home match against Sussex and there could be a second debut for a familiar face in the shape of former England spinner Monty Panesar.

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Panesar 'delighted' to seal Northants return

Panesar says he's glad to be back at Northamptonshire. Credit: PA

Former England spinner Monty Panesar says he's "delighted" to have sealed a return to Northamptonshire.

The 33-year-old has been included in Northants' squad for this summer after offering to fund himself independently.

Panesar started his career at the county back in 2001.

Panesar poised to make Northants return

Monty Panesar Credit: Northampton CCC

Former England Spin bowler Monty Panesar is to return to Northamptonshire County Cricket Club.

The 33-year-old spinner was released by Essex at the end of last season after struggling for form.

He turned to Northamptonshire last year following surgery and asked for help in returning to fitness from long term friends, Barry Goudriaan, Head Physio and David Ripley, Head Coach.

It seemed unlikely that a contract was on the table as the player budget for 2016 was already confirmed.

However, Panesar has now organised his own funding and the chances of him playing for Northants are looking more likely.

Monty has worked hard at his fitness which is progressing. He joined us on our pre-season tour to Barbados where he fitted in well with the rest of the lads.

He will now have to prove himself for selection.

– David Ripley

I would be very excited to have Monty as part of the squad as his test pedigree and experience will be really helpful to the rest of the lads.

We've all had some honest conversations but he is fitting in really well. He still has to prove his worth and Graeme White is bowling very well at the moment so he still faces some challenges to get a place on a team.

– Alex Wakely, captain of NCCC

Record-breaking Charlotte to lead team into World Cup semi final

Charlotte Edwards T20 career

Charlotte Edwards leads the England cricket team into the T20 World Cup semi-final against Australia tomorrow.

And the Cambridgeshire sportswoman does so as a record breaker.

She's become the first cricketer, male or female, to score 2,500 runs in international T-20 history.

She passed the milestone by scoring an unbeaten 77 in England's final group game against Pakistan over the Easter weekend.

That took Charlotte to 2,574 career runs, that's 400 runs more than New Zealand's Brendan McCullum who holds the record in the mens game.

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