Chris Cooke succeeded Mark Wallace as Glamorgan’s 1st XI wicketkeeper in 2017 and maintained the high-standards behind the stumps which his predecessor had set, besides being a forceful right-handed batsman who has played a series of match-winning innings Examples include his innings in 2017 against Hampshire at The Ageas Bowl in the Royal London One-Cup as the Welsh county successfully chased a target of 333, whilst the following year against the Essex Eagles at Chelmsford, he made an explosive 60 from just 29 balls as together with Timm van der Gugten the ninth wicket pair saw Glamorgan turn the tables on their opponents and secure a dramatic two-wicket victory.
The son of an English-born schoolteacher, Chris was born and raised in Johannesburg where he initially played for Western Province in 2009 and 2010. During his time Chris spent time playing club cricket in Hampshire and Staffordshire, and had trials with several counties, including Glamorgan who offered him terms for 2011. Chris repaid their faith by enjoying an action-packed debut in the T20 match against Middlesex at Cardiff striking his second, third and fourth deliveries bowled by Ryan McLaren high over the boundary boards for six.
In 2012 Chris also made a superb 137* against Somerset in the 40-overs competition at Taunton before establishing a regular berth in Glamorgan’s Championship line-up. Indeed, 2014 was a breakthrough season as he posted 171, his maiden first-class century against Kent at Canterbury and ended the summer as Glamorgan’s Four-Day Player of the Year.
He added two more first-class hundreds to his tally in 2015, besides playing a remarkable match-winning innings against Kent in the Royal London One-Day Cup at the SSE SWALEC where he blasted an imperious 94 from just 54 balls to see Glamorgan to a thrilling victory. Chris sustained a back injury during 2016 shortly after being awarded his county cap and missed the second half of the summer, but there were no injury worries in 2017, with Chris sharing a match-saving partnership with Colin Ingram as the pair batted throughout the final day of the Championship match with Nottinghamshire to save the game.
In 2018 Chris was appointed the Club’s vice-captain before in 2019 taking over the captaincy of the red ball games from Michael Hogan. It proved to be a bitter-sweet year for him as he made a superb career-best 161 against Gloucestershire in the Royal London One-Day Cup match at Bristol before twisting his ankle against the same opponents in a freak accident whilst batting in the Championship match at Spytty Park in Newport. It saw him spend six weeks on the sidelines but he was able to return for the T20 competition and the closing Championship matches.
2021 saw Chris post his maiden Championship double-hundred – the first-ever by a specialist Glamorgan wicket-keeper – besides making his debut for the Birmingham Phoenix in The Hundred. He also stood down from the Glamorgan captaincy at the end of the year, handing over the reins to his deputy David Lloyd. 2022 duly saw Chris share in a Club record stand of 461 for the sixth wicket with Sam Northeast against Leicestershire at Grace Road. Chris made an unbeaten 191 and, with a further century against Sussex at Hove, Chris ended the summer with a career-best seasonal aggregate of 840 runs.
COOKE, Christopher Barry
Born – Johannesburg, 30th May 1986.
Best performances for Glamorgan:
In first-class cricket – 205* v Surrey at The Oval, 2021.
In List A cricket – 161 v Gloucestershire at Nevil Road, Bristol, 2019.
In T20 cricket – 72 v Birmingham Bears at Sophia Gardens, Cardiff, 2020.