Born in Middlesborough, Geoff had played out almost his entire First Class career as a very accomplished batsman with Northamptonshire, captaining the County for eight Seasons and achieving seven Test caps. He had then joined Durham, on its inception as a First Class County and had remained back in the North-East ever since.
He was delighted at England's enhanced status in the Test Match rankings and was very confident of an English victory against the current No. 1 Team, India, this summer. He hoped that England would continue to improve its position in the Limited Overs' Arena, especially after winning the World 20/20 Tournament in the Caribbean in May 2010.
As a coach he had not failed to notice, however, the very small margin that seems to exist between failure and success. Not very long ago Durham, seemingly against all the odds, had managed to cling on to their First Division County Championship status by a solitary point. From there they went from strength to strength, winning the Championship for two Seasons in succession - and with a Limited Overs Trophy in somewhere for good measure! Mr. Cook had been thrilled and delighted with the players' success.
He had high praise for the achievements, of two .home-grown. Durham stars, Steven Harmison and Paul Collingwood, who by quite different routes to success, had reached such landmarks of distinction in their profession. Dale Benkenstein was also singled out for praise, Having joined the County as an overseas .Kolpak. player, he had immediately settled into the local community and had been a model Durham Cricketer, leading the Team to its first Championship success.
Geoff's wry sense of humour was rarely far from the forefront. He remarked, ruefully, that when all was going well for the Team he would usually be referred to as the .County Coach., whereas during less successful periods he seemed to be: .Geoff Cook - Director of Cricket..
Inevitably during the evening reference was made by the hosts to a Century which Geoff had scored many years ago - in a losing cause - for Northants in a One Day Nat West Trophy Final at Lord's, the opponents being Derbyshire. Clearly, this topic had been anticipated by our Guest and it had not escaped his notice that our next scheduled Speaker was due to be Colin Tunnicliffe, whose leg bye off the very last ball of the match, had done so much to break Northamptonshire hearts!
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