Former England captain Alastair Cook has penned a two-year extension with Essex.
Cook, who is England's all-time leading run scorer in Test cricket, signed an initial three-year deal with Essex following his international retirement in 2018.
Since then, the 36-year-old has played an integral role in the county's successive red-ball titles in 2019 and 2020, first the County Championship followed by the inaugural Bob Willis Trophy.
Cook registered 172 in the first innings in the latter success at Lord's to offer Essex an early lead against Somerset, ending the campaign as the leading run scorer in the competition with 563 runs at an average of 56.30.
But Essex endured a tough season the following campaign, failing to qualify for Division One of the County Championship, while it remained unclear whether Cook would renew terms.
Cook, however, has decided to continue playing for at least the next two years.
Upon signing his new contract, the opening batsman to Essex's in-house media: "I have really enjoyed my cricket here at Essex since my international retirement.
"We are lucky to have a fantastic dressing room and great coaching staff, led brilliantly by Anthony McGrath, and I'm looking forward to what is hopefully another successful couple of years."
Two more years of pic.twitter.com/ymJSybHZdj— Essex Cricket (@EssexCricket) November 30, 2021
The left-hander made 161 Test appearances, racking up 12,472 runs at an average of 45.35 as he holds records as not only England's most-capped red-ball captain (59) but also for the most centuries for his country in the longest format (33).