ALASTAIR Cook has handed Essex County Cricket Club a boost after signing a new long-term contract with the club.

The 33-year-old, who announced his retirement from Test cricket with England on Monday, has penned a contract extension that will see him remain at the County Ground until 2021.

Essex Head Coach Anthony McGrath told the Essex CCC website: “It’s great news that Cooky has committed his future to the Club.

“He’s one of the best batsmen in the world and he’s so important for us both on and off the pitch. He’s a great person to have around the Club and is a great role model for the young players coming through.

“He also has the ability to change a game with his batting and that’s something everyone wants in their team.”

Cook, who will make his final appearance for England at the Kia Oval against India this week, progressed through the Essex academy and made his first-class debut against Nottinghamshire in 2003.

The former Maldon CC youngster was also a vital part of the Essex side which won the County Championship in 2017, the county’s first Championship title in a quarter of a century.

He has also enjoyed a hugely successful international career, becoming England’s most capped player in Tests (160), England’s most capped Test captain (59), the most Test centuries for England (32) and the most Test runs for England (12,254).