Alastair Cook retired after England's last Test series, against India

'No reason why he couldn’t' – Essex captain doesn’t rule out England return for Alastair Cook

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Could Alastair Cook reverse his international retirement and play again for England? Ryan ten Doeschate, Cook's captain at Essex, refused to rule out that possibility.

Cook scored an unbeaten 150 for Essex against Cambridge University in a pre-season game, and looked as good as he ever did during his England record 161 Test appearances, in which he scored 12,472 runs.

He retired in September last year, scoring 71 and 147 against India in the final Test at The Oval, and has since received a knighthood in the Queen’s New Year Honours list.

He is an English legend, and that’s one of the reasons ten Doeschate fears Essex will lose their star at some point. “It is a possibility,” he told talkSPORT2, when asked if Cook would make an England return.

“Just speaking to him and gauging where he's at, I would say it's unlikely. But I know how much he does love England cricket and how much work he's put in there so no, I wouldn't rule it out in times of desperation.

“If he was playing really well and he felt the desire was there, I guess there's no reason why he couldn't make a comeback.”

For now, however, ten Doeschate is happy Cook is at Essex, not just for what he brings to the field, but beyond it. “Obviously he's a fantastic cricketer, but the things he brings away from cricket are just as important," ten Doeschate said. "His work ethic, the desire he has for the game and the desire he has to pass on his knowledge is an absolute treasure chest for us.

“He could really strengthen what's been a slightly under-achieving batting line-up for us in the past few years and if he can drag a few guys along with him, we've definitely got the bowlers to do very well in this Championship.”

Essex begin their County Championship season against Hampshire from 5 April.

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