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England captain Alastair Cook has been awarded a benefit year by Essex

Alastair Cook: Essex benefit for England captain

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England captain Alastair Cook has been awarded a benefit year by Essex.

The 28-year-old opening batsman, who made his first class debut for the county in 2003, is closing in on 8,000 Test runs and is two games away from a 100th Test cap.

"I am honoured to be awarded a benefit year by Essex," said Cook.

"I'm determined that the year will be fun and I also pledge to donate at least half of the money raised to my four chosen charities personal to me; David Randall Foundation, Chance to Shine, Outreach Uganda and Mind."

Essex chief executive Derek Bowden said: "We are delighted to award Alastair a benefit year for next season as he is a player with immense talent and has proven to be one of the best cricketers Essex County Cricket Club has ever produced.

"He has always shown his admiration for Essex and is a role model for supporters of the club at all ages."