Former England captain Sir Alastair Cook has signed a new two-year contract with Essex.
The 36-year-old, who made his debut for the club in 2003, had been considering his future after his previous three-year deal ended in September.
Opening bat Cook is England’s leading Test run-scorer with 12,472 in 161 matches, including 33 centuries.
“Alastair is still one of the best batters in the world,” said Essex head coach Anthony McGrath.
“He has the ability to take the game away from the opponents in both red-ball and white-ball cricket, and that’s something every head coach wants in their team.
“He’s also a great role model to the younger lads coming through and has a wealth of knowledge that all the players in our dressing room, including the senior pros, tap into from time to time.”
Cook retired from international cricket in 2018 and afterwards admitted he was in tears when he told his team-mates of his decision.
Since then, he has helped Essex win the County Championship in 2019, the Bob Willis Trophy in 2020 and Championship Division Two last season.
Essex and Cook will hope to regain the County Championship trophy next season when they return to Division One of the reintroduced two-division structure.
He had one of his less productive first-class campaigns in 2021, scoring 611 runs at an average of 32.15, but still managed two centuries, including 165 against Surrey in the penultimate game of the season.
Cook also made 110 off 128 balls in a tied One-Day Cup match against Lancashire at Old Trafford in August.
“I have really enjoyed my cricket here at Essex since my international retirement,” he said.
“We are lucky to have a fantastic dressing room and great coaching staff, led brilliantly by Anthony McGrath, and I’m looking forward to what is hopefully another successful couple of years.”
Cook’s career by numbers
- 161 Tests, 12,472 runs, average 45.35, 33×100, 57×50, average 45.35
- 92 ODIs, 3,204 runs, 5×100, 19×50, average 36.40
- 4 T20Is, 61 runs, average 15.25
- 324 FC matches, 24,841 runs, 69×100, 117×50, average 47.22
- 178 List A matches, 6,510 runs, 13×100, 38×50, average 39.93
- 32 T20 matches: 892 runs, 1×100, 5×50, average 31.85