Steven Crook has today announced his retirement from all forms of cricket at the end of the 2018 season.
The 35-year-old all-rounder may have been born and raised in Australia, but he has spent his entire professional career in England, the vast majority of which at Northamptonshire.
After an initial two years at Lancashire, Crook moved to the County Ground in 2005, which is where he would go on to spend the rest of his career, bar two seasons at Middlesex in 2011 and 2012.
Crook’s abilities with bat and ball saw him become an integral part of the side that won promotion to Specsavers County Championship Division One in 2013, the same year as the Steelbacks won the first of their two Vitality Blast titles.
With 46 not out off 24 balls and bowling figures of 1-32 Crook was named Player of the Match in the semi-final win over Essex Eagles, before taking 2-26 in the final win over Surrey later in the day.
Three years later Crook was at it again in the same competition, taking 3-28 in the semi-final win over Nottinghamshire Outlaws – along with a three further catches – and then another wicket in the final against Durham Jets.
Crook, who was awarded his County cap in 2013 and a testimonial year in 2018, says that these are just a few of many great memories he will have of his time as a player at Northamptonshire.
“It’s been an incredible ride living out my childhood dream of being a professional cricketer and I’m really proud to have played for such a long time,” he said. “I feel it’s the right time for me to hang up my hat and look forward to new challenges off the field.
“There are too many people to mention individually but I want to thank all of my coaches over the years, support staff, teammates, and particularly my friends and family – I’d like to make a special mention to my Mum and Dad, brothers and my fiancé, Tamsin and daughter Marley – I wouldn’t have had the career I’ve had without their support.
“I’d like to thank everyone at the club, all the supporters and everyone in the County who have made my time here so special, and I’m so proud to have been a part of the success that we’ve had as a team in the last few years.
“I’m going to miss the camaraderie and banter in the dressing room that we’ve had as a tight group of mates, but the memories that I’ve made will last a lifetime.”
Head Coach, David Ripley, paid tribute to Crook’s contribution to the cause at the County Ground.
“Steve’s been a superb player for us,” he said. “He’s been an integral part of the clubs success over the last 6 years, playing a major role in winning the t20 titles in 2013 and 2016 as well as the all round effort he made to help us gain promotion in 2013.
“He’s a great character to have in the dressing room and is a positive influence on the players around him. On the field he’s a fierce competitor, a 100 percenter, day in, day out. A top bloke who will be sorely missed around the changing room.”
“On behalf of the players and coaches I’d like to wish him and his family all the very best for the future.”
STEVEN CROOK CAREER STATISTICS
Runs 4,043 | High Score 145 | Average 31.83 | Hundreds 5 | Fifties 22
Wickets 207 | Best Figures 5-48 | Average 39.66 | Five-Wicket Innings 3
Runs 1,244 | High Score 100 | Average 21.44 | Hundreds 1 | Fifties 5
Wickets 84| Best Figures 5-36 | Average 34.36 | Four-Wicket Innings 3 | Five-Wicket Innings 1
Runs 1,388 | High Score 63 | Average 18.50 | Fifties 3 | Strike Rate 133.07
Wickets 73 | Best Figures 3-19 | Average 29.79
Runs 3,439 | High Score 145 | Average 34.04 | Hundreds 5 | Fifties 1
Wickets 155 | Best Figures 5-71 | Average 40.78 | Five-Wicket Innings 1
Runs 858 | High Score 72 | Average 23.83 | Fifties 5
Wickets 48| Best Figures 5-36 | Average 35.87 | Four-Wicket Innings 3 | Five-Wicket Innings 1
Runs 1,080 | High Score 63 | Average 20.00 | Fifties 3
Wickets 49 | Best Figures 3-19 | Average 33.06