Crook profits but Housego goes
Steven Crook has committed his future to Middlesex on the day that Dan Housego left the club.
Seam-bowling all-rounder Crook has signed a new two-year contract until the end of the 2013 season but batsman Housego, whose first-team appearances were limited this year, has decided to seek a new county.
Australia-born Crook, who did not play senior cricket in 2010 when he concentrated on his music career, enjoyed an impressive first season with Middlesex, his third county after Lancashire and Northamptonshire.
The 28-year-old aided their LV= County Championship Division Two title with 26 wickets at an average of 31 and was the Panthers' leading wicket-taker in a disappointing Friends Life t20 campaign with 17.
Managing director of cricket Angus Fraser said: “Signing Steven in January this year was a bit of a punt but he had a very good first season with Middlesex CCC and thoroughly deserves this new contract.
“He was initially signed as cover for Gareth Berg and played far more first XI cricket than we expected because of Gareth’s injury.”
“With the ball he offers something different as he can bowl very fast, and his pace unsettled many opposing batsmen. During the season he claimed several top wickets, often dismissing the opposition’s gun batsman.
“He is an excellent fielder and dangerous batsman. The encouraging thing is that we firmly believe there is still a lot more to come.”
Housego, who turns 23 next month, graduated from the Middlesex Academy in 2008 and has spent four years as a full-time professional, signing a one-year contract extension last October.
The right-hander played 15 first-class games, scoring 703 runs at an average of 27, including hundreds against Oxford UCCE and Sri Lanka, and five Twenty20 matches for Middlesex.
He was their top scorer in second XI three-day cricket, accumulating 1,168 runs at an average of 78 featuring four centuries.
Fraser added: “Middlesex CCC fully respect Dan’s decision because he is an outstanding young man and an excellent professional cricketer.
“Dan’s record in second XI cricket shows that he has that form of the game covered and he needs to be playing first-class cricket.
“As a consequence of the squad we are assembling at Middlesex CCC, opportunities for Dan may be less regular than he wants and needs at this stage of his career.
“Everyone at Middlesex CCC wishes Dan the very best for the future and hope that he gets the opportunities he is looking for elsewhere. Whoever signs him will not be disappointed.”