|Full name||Stephen James Cook|
31 July 1953 |
Johannesburg, Transvaal Province, Union of South Africa
|Bowling style||Right-arm off break|
|Relations||SC Cook (Son)|
|Test debut (cap 247)||13 November 1992 v India|
|Last Test||25 August 1993 v Sri Lanka|
|ODI debut (cap 1)||10 November 1991 v India|
|Last ODI||2 September 1993 v Sri Lanka|
|Domestic team information|
|Source: CricketArchive, 15 January 2010|
Cook was a prolific opening batsman both in his native South Africa and for Somerset County Cricket Club but South Africa's exclusion from Test cricket cost him a significant Test career. He played in all 19 of South Africa's 'unofficial Test matches' against rebel sides. Aged over 40, and having waited two decades for an official Test cap, he edged Kapil Dev's opening ball, a late outswinger, to third slip in the First Test between South Africa and India at Durban in November 1992, to become the first debutant to be dismissed by the first ball of a Test match; Leon Garrick of the West Indies also suffered this fate nine years later.
Originally a middle-order batsman for Transvaal, his career blossomed when he converted to the opening position. He formed a formidable opening partnership with Henry Fotheringham, helping the Transvaal dominate the domestic scene in the 1980s. He captained the province later on in his career, and remains the third highest run scorer in South African first class cricket.
Ignored by county cricket in England until late in his career, he scored over 7,500 runs for Somerset in his three seasons with the club, including a 28 hundreds. In 270 first-class matches, he scored 21,143 runs with a top score of 313* at an average of 50.58. He scored 64 first-class hundreds. In 286 List A cricket games, he made 10,639 runs at 41.39 with a best of 177.
After Cook retired he became director of coaching with the UCBSA, and had an unsuccessful spell with Hampshire which ended in 2002. As a coach at King Edward School in Johannesburg he oversaw the development of Graeme Smith.