Former Northants skipper Geoff Cook remains in a coma following heart attack

Geoff Cook
Geoff Cook
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Former Northants skipper and current Durham coach Geoff Cook has shown slight signs of improvement but remains in a critical condition following his heart attack on Thursday.

The 61-year-old former England batsman is still in a coma in Durham City’s Dryburn Hospital, but former Durham captain Dale Benkenstein reported that there had been some positive news.

“His family are at his bedside and his daughter, Anna, tells me they have reduced his sedation without him suffering any more seizures,” Benkenstein said.

Ex-Northants Northants off-spinner Graeme Swann, Durham skipper Paul Collingwood and former England captain Michael Vaughan were amongst those who tweeted their support for the 61-year-old.

Collingwood posted: “All our thoughts with Geoff Cook and his family. Sad sad day.”

Vaughan added: “Thoughts and prayers are with Geoff Cook and his family...A great man.. Get well soon Geoff...”

England spinner Swann also took to Twitter to wish Cook well, writing: “Just heard the news about Geoff Cook. Fingers crossed for a speedy recovery for him.”

Wicketkeeper Matt Prior posted: “Thoughts are with Geoff Cook and his family at this time. Fingers crossed for a full and speedy recovery.”

Former Durham and Middlesex bowler Simon Hughes said: “Thoughts with Geoff Cook and family after his heart attack. No one has put more into Durham’s cause these last 20 years.”

Former Australian Test batsman Marcus North said: “Thoughts with Geoff Cook and his family. A true character and fighter!”

While a Northants player, Cook played in seven Tests and six one-day internationals for England in 1982 and 1983.

He played for the club for 19 seasons, and for many of those years was part of a formidable opening batting partnership with Wayne Larkins.

He was a key member of the team that won the 1976 Gillette Cup - the first major honour in the club’s history - and the 1980 Benson & Hedges Cup.

Cook took over as captain of the County from Jim Watts in 1981, and led the team to the NatWest Trophy Finals of 1981 and 1987, as well as the 1987 B&H Cup Final.

All three games were narrowly lost, with the 81 final to Derbyshire and the 87 B&H Final against Yorkshire both going down to the final ball, while the 87 NatWest Final against Nottinghamshire was lost with three balls remaining.

In all, Cook played 415 first-class matches for Northants, scoring 20,976 runs at an average of 32.23.

He scored 33 centuries and 101 half-centuries, and achieved a top score of 203. He also claimed 375 catches.

Middlesbrough-born Cook left Northants in 1990 and became the director of cricket at Durham when they became a first-class county in 1991.

He was named as head coach in 2007, immediately winning the Friends Provident Trophy, and brought the club back to back county championship titles in 2007 and 2008. They had never won the championship before.