2019 was Chris Cooke’s first year as club captain and with a promotion push in the County Championship and improved form in the 50-over competition Cooke looks back with pride on his maiden campaign in charge.
“Last year was my first year as skipper, it was a big honour and I really enjoyed it,” said Cooke. “They are a great bunch of lads to skipper, we made some good improvements and hopefully the work we did last season gives everyone a lot of confidence.
“We just wanted to play harder and tougher cricket and set higher standards in four-day cricket, and I think we did that.
“Everyone was a bit disappointed we didn’t get promotion and that’s something we haven’t really been able to say in the last decade.”
Marnus Labuschagne returns
The hottest name in the world cricket was in blistering form for Glamorgan in 2019 as Marnus Labuschagne compiled well over 1,000 first-class runs and hit a club-high five centuries.
He took that form into the Ashes, finishing as Australia’s second highest run scorer before cementing the coveted number three spot as his own in the Australian summer, hitting two centuries (including a career-best 215) and three half-centuries in six knocks against New Zealand, and two centuries in the two innings he played against Pakistan.
Having re-signed at Glamorgan for a further two years, the buzz around Labuschagne’s return continues to build and Cooke can’t wait to have his star man back in the set-up.
“Marnus is a captains dream! He bowls, he bats, he fields, he loves his cricket. You can’t shut him up about it – hence why he got nicknamed ‘Yarnus’ when he arrived. It’s great to get his services for the next two years.
“I didn’t know a lot about him before he came here, but after a couple of nets and the first couple of games you could see ho good he was. His international form is no surprise, and he has a real hunger for batting. If that then rubs off on the younger players, then that’s great.”
Pre-season training ramps up ahead of 2020 season
The majority of players returned to pre-season training in the autumn after a period of time away, with the emphasis on strength and conditioning work led by the club’s S&C coach Tom Turner. As well as their S&C work, the players also work on their fielding across the park.
With the players then in top physical condition, both in terms of cardio and their power/strength, the focus shifts to cricket skills in the new year with net sessions focused on particular formats and situations. Red-ball nets see the players bat for two hours, rotating through types of bowling from their teammates and the machines at the indoor school.
“In-season it’s about what the team can do,” said Cooke. “Pre-season is about how the individual can improve by one or two percent every week and trying to get better each session.
“I’m starting to get to the age where I’m not tinkering too much with my technique. I’m just trying to spend time in the nets and get used to keeping my concentration and focus over a long period of time.”
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