"Was going to sign the central contract the moment ECB called me", says Harry Brook | Cricket - Hindustan Times
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"Was going to sign the central contract the moment ECB called me", says Harry Brook

ANI |
Dec 06, 2023 01:37 PM IST

Brook along with pacer Mark Wood and batter Joe Root are the only players to have signed the three-year deal with the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB). Brook is in his 20s, at 24 years of age unlike the other two players in their 30s and is also highly-sought after in the T20 league circuit, becoming an Indian Premier League (IPL) big buy after being picked by Sunriserd Hyderabad for ₹13.25 crores last year.

St John's [Antigua], December 6 (ANI): England batter Harry Brook revealed that he agreed to sign a three-year central contract for the senior men's national side "as soon as they called him" according to an interview to ESPNCricinfo.

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Brook along with pacer Mark Wood and batter Joe Root are the only players to have signed the three-year deal with the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB). Brook is in his 20s, at 24 years of age unlike the other two players in their 30s and is also highly-sought after in the T20 league circuit, becoming an Indian Premier League (IPL) big buy after being picked by Sunriserd Hyderabad for 13.25 crores last year.

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Despite all the riches T20 cricket could offer him, Brook did not think for even a second when Rob Key, Managing Director of England Men's cricket called him.

"Straight away as soon as England called I was going to sign the contract. I have wanted to play for England all my life," Brook said as quoted by ESPNCricinfo ahead of the second ODI against the West Indies.

Brook was one of the six players who were offered three-year deals. Jofra Archer and skipper Jos Buttler opted for two-year contracts while Test skipper Ben Stokes opted for a year-long contract on the basis that the value of contracts could increase when new terms are agreed upon next year.

Brook's commitment to England is a boon for the side which is pushing him as a next-generation great. His workload is being managed well too after he admitted that he needed rest following a difficult 50-over Cricket World Cup campaign in India.

Since his Test debut in September 2022, nobody has played as many matches for England as Brook, with a total of 45. England could have made him rest for West Indies ODIs and bring him straight to T20Is but he is playing both.

"Obviously England made that decision but I am happy to be out here to be honest. It is a different lifestyle. I have been waking up at six o'clock every morning and jumping in the sea so it has been an enjoyable tour so far," he added.

Brook is searching for the right tempo to score in ODIs. Following the World Cup, he returned to his school coach for some sessions. In the first ODI against Windies, he made 71 in 72 balls, with seven fours and two sixes.

"I liked the way I went about my innings. I have struggled a little bit in this format at the start of my career. I have not quite found the tempo of how I wanted to play," said Brook.

"Until the summer I had not played anything. So yeah, I was just trying to figure out, find my feet in the format really and try to find a tempo with the way I wanted to bat. England has been renowned for being an aggressive side but there is always so much time. The other day was a perfect example of that. It was about nine overs from the end that I got out and I felt like I was sat up on the balcony watching for about three hours," he added.

Brook has put his name for the IPL auction despite so much workload after being released by SRH. Another big assignment for Brook will be the tour of India, comprising of five Tests from January onwards. Following this, he will be playing IPL and after that will take place the ICC T20 World Cup 2024 in June at West Indies/USA.

The batter said that he has been off social media for a while and it has helped his game and mental health as he is away from all the negativity.

"In India, you can end up sitting in your hotel room with not much stuff to do," Brook said of the cricket-mad nation where the celebrity effect comes easily.

"I have been off social media for a while now. So anything I stumble across, I delete it from the phone...I think that has helped my game, helped my mental health and everything, to be off social media and seeing all the negativity that brings," he added.

It is a change in tone from IPL 2023, when after a century that he scored following some low-scores, he said in a post-match presentation that he was "glad to shut them [his critics] up to be honest."

"I was an idiot and I said a stupid thing in an interview which I regret a little bit," Brook laughed when recalling that interview.

"I would find myself scrolling Instagram or whatever, and you just come across stuff you just do not want to see, so I thought it was the right idea to get rid of it. I have obviously still got Instagram and Twitter but thankfully I have got someone running it for me," he concluded. (ANI)

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