Radlett teenager Joe Cooke becomes youngest player to score century

First published in Sport

Joe Cooke, at the age of 15, has become the youngest player by more than a year to score a century for Radlett.

Cooke, a pupil at Parmiter's School in Watford, hit 100 off only 126 balls on his Radlett debut in a 50-over club game against Harpenden at Cobden Hill on Saturday, setting up a 98-run victory.

Fully justifying his move from King's Langley during the close season, Cooke featured in a second-wicket stand of 191 with the captain and former Hampshire batsman Jono McLean as Radlett built an impregnable total of 295 for four. McLean, having nursed his young colleague to glory, fell short of his own hundred on 92.

Harpenden, a club one division higher in the Home Counties Premier League, failed to challenge the score and finished with 197 for eight. Off-spinner Jason Lewis, a newcomer from Preston in the Sussex League, took three for 43 off his ten overs.

The previous youngest Radlett centurion had been Andy Griffiths, who hit 110 at Tring Park as a 17-year-old Haberdashers boy in 1984. Cooke was only 15 years and 324 days.

Cooke, Lewis and former MCC Young Cricketer seam-bowler Chad Barrett are the main newcomers as Radlett aim to bounce back to the top flight in their second year in the Home Counties Premier Division Two East. The opening match is at Bishop's Stortford on May 11.

Radlett, the training headquarters of Middlesex CCC, are putting a special emphasis on high-quality coaching under the director Ruan Louw alongside Barrett, the new Herts County coach Tom Jenkins and South African coach Shane Burger, back for his tenth season at the club.

Apart from weekly training, professional one-to-one sessions are available to all players, and this summer Radlett girls under-13 are to receive free coaching.

There will be four Radlett youth coaching weeks, running from July 15 to August 9. Enquiries for this popular programme should be emailed to courses@radlettcc.com. Early bookings by May 19 qualify for a 10 per cent discount.

Radlett will continue to run five Saturday leagues sides, and prospective new players at all levels are invited to contact Charles Randall without obligation on chasrandall@gmail.com or ring 07770 382127.

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