Dean Cosker completed his A-levels at Millfield School in 1996, and within a few months was making his Glamorgan debut against Lancashire at Cardiff. Born in Dorset of Welsh parents, the left arm spinner is widely regarded to have a bright future in the professional game and has already represented England at Under-19 level, and toured with England A. During the 1996/97 series with England U-19 in Pakistan, the young spinner impressed manager Phil Neale with his accuracy and turn. Cosker's reward was inclusion in The Rest XI to play England A in the traditonal curtain-raiser for the 1997 season.
He was subsequently given an extended run in the Glamorgan side, and with Robert Croft on England duty, he was also given a chance as the frontline spinner. The fact that he easily fitted into this role speaks volumes for Cosker's maturity and potential. His finest performance in 1997 came in the Nat West quarter-final against Yorkshire at Cardiff. Cosker returned figures of 12-3-26-3, and then shared an unbeaten tenth wicket partnership of 28 with Waqar Younis to see Glamorgan to a semi-final place.
Cosker spent 1997/98 with England A on their tour to East Africa and Sri Lanka, and during 1998 returned career best figures of 6-140 against Lancashire at Colwyn Bay. He finished the season with a decent haul of 36 first-class victims, and had another successful tour in 1998/99 with the England A party in South Africa and Zimbabwe.
Cosker had a rather lean season in 1999, but 2000 saw him regain form, especially in Championship matches, and in the final month of the season, Cosker won his county cap.
Cosker has subsequently become a key member of Glamorgan`s highly successful one-day team in the past four years, where his accurate bowling and razor-sharp fielding backward of square on the off side have helped Glamorgan earn a string of victories. Indeed, many shrewd judges regard Cosker to be the best fielder in one-day cricket in the country.
His dynamic fielding and accurate slow bowling, often in tandem with captain Robert Croft, has been an integral element in Glamorgan securing the one-day league title in 2002 and 2004, as well as reaching the Twenty20 Finals day in 2004.
(Article: Copyright © 2002 Dr.A.K.Hignell)
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