Sep 6 2011 By Jon Batham
STEVEN Crook is hopeful a season beyond his wildest dreams will earn him a new contract at Middlesex.
The 28-year-old expected to only be a bit part player at Lord’s this season, acting as cover for all-rounder Gareth Berg, after returning to the game following injuries which ruined spells at Lancashire and Northants.
However, with Berg suffering a serious hand injury in May, Crook was suddenly propelled into the spotlight first in the one-day game and then in the County Championship.
Here, some crucial spells with the ball, including one of 3-6 in 10 balls in the win over Leicester last week have made the South Australian born player something of a hit with the fans at the home of cricket.
It turns out the love-in is mutual and Crook is desperate to extend his stay in NW8.
He said: “Hopefully there will be a deal on the table as I would love to stay. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my time at Middlesex so far. Coming back into cricket again if someone had said to me at the start of the year I would be playing in all forms of cricket and playing a role in the team I would have snapped their hand off.
“It’s a great club to be at there’s a good feel to it and hopefully we have a really strong future.”
Crook is not your typical fourth seamer, keeping it tight while the new ball bowlers get revved up again.
On the contrary his burst against the Foxes has become the trademark of a bowler quicker than he looks who gets wickets in clusters with both bad balls and ‘jaffas.’
He is reluctant to claim the role of ‘strike bowler,’ but admits his role in the side is to attack.
He added: “As I’m running in I’m trying to put pressure on the batter, be aggressive and get in their face a little bit. The guys at the other end are keeping it tight, which gives me the opportunity to bowl a bit fuller and try and get the edge.
“We all bring something different to the party and it keeps the opposition on their toes.”