Durham have confirmed the signing of South African batsmen Stephen Cook for the first half of the 2017 season.
Cook will sign as an overseas player, much to the relief of Cricket South Africa as they contend with an influx of players into county cricket on a Kolpak registration, so ending their international careers, at least for the foreseeable future.
Kyle Abbott (Hampshire), Hardus Viljoen (Derbyshire), Simon Harmer (Essex), Rilee Rossouw (Hampshire) and Stiaan van Zyl (Sussex) have all signed Kolpak deals, although last week Dean Elgar shunned the opportunity when he won an overseas player deal with Somerset.
For Cook to resist the lure of a Kolpak deal at the ripe old age of 34 - precisely the time, in late career, when it is deemed most attractive - is particularly striking. Forced to wait until late in his career for a chance at international level, he is in no mood to concede it.
Durham always ...