JACK BROOKS has not given up hope of forcing his way into the England reckoning after agreeing to extend his playing career with Yorkshire.
The 32-year-old bowler’s switch to Headingley from Northamptonshire back in 2012 has proved an undoubted triumph for both player and county, with two County Championship title triumphs.
While Brooks has previously enjoyed experience of the England Performance Programme, he has been unable to make deeper inroads into the national set-up, a situation he still hopes to rectify.
“As long as I’m a professional I will always have England ambitions,” said Brooks. “I get out of bed every day hoping that I can one day play for England and I use that as a drive to get me through training.
“I’ve been involved in England Lions setups and international practices and our sessions are really intense and full on. You’ve got to be on your mettle every day.
“You know when you turn up to net you’re bowling at guys who have played for their country and are top quality opposition. It can get a bit feisty, but that’s what I need. I need the competition element to compete and practise; it only improves you.”
In 2016, Brooks took 60 wickets at an average of 26.59. It followed a haul of 68 wickets during 2014 when Yorkshire won the first of two successive four-day titles under former head coach Jason Gillespie.
The Oxford-born seamer did not take much persuading to stick around for longer in Leeds, particularly with the added incentive of sending team-mate Ryan Sidebottom off with some more silverware in his final year.
“I wasn’t looking to leave and I’ve had a really good time since I joined a few years ago,” said Brooks, whose new deal keeps him at the club until the end of the 2018 season.”
He added: “My career has gone a lot better than I thought and it’s a dream to spend another couple of years here.
“To win the Championship in Siddy’s (Ryan Sidebottom) last year would be the perfect send-off for him. That’s what we’re going to use as our main thrust for the season.”