Loughborough University student-athlete Sam Cook has been rewarded for his fine form on the cricket field by signing his first professional contract with Essex Country Cricket Club.
An Essex native, seam bowler Sam has signed a two-year contract with the side, whom he helped to win the County Championship this season. Making the step up to the first team this year, the 20 year old took 18 wickets in four Championship appearances, claiming five in an innings in back-to-back games against Hampshire and Yorkshire.
Cook has also been asset for Loughborough MCCU over the last couple of years, helping them to win the BUCS title again in 2017, for the third time in four years.
A History and International Relations student, Cook will complete his studies this academic year before focusing on cricket full-time.
Cook has admitted he is struggling to get his head round the past month, commenting:
To be honest the last few weeks or so have been a bit of a blur but it has been absolutely incredible.
Making my debut for Essex was something I always dreamed of and then to go on and be a part of winning the Division One title was something you can’t really put into words. I worked hard to get in that position, but the hard work doesn’t stop now and being rewarded with this contract has given me a hunger to make just as big an impact next season.
For now, I will continue to train with Loughborough MCCU and finish my degree, but then my focus will fully be on impressing for Essex and following in the footsteps of the likes of Jamie Porter.
Essex Head Coach Chris Silverwood is thrilled for Cook and added:
Sam has shown just what can be achieved with the right attitude and a willingness to work hard. He waited patiently for his opportunity and certainly took it when he came into the side.
The most important thing now is that he stays grounded and continues to work just as hard as he has done in his short career so far. If he does that, he certainly has the skills to be a huge asset for Essex for years to come.