Yorkshire's Jack Brooks prepares for new season by spending winter at Willetton Dragons

Gazette & Herald: . .

Jack Brooks is heading to Perth next month to step up his preparations for the new county season.

The Yorkshire fast bowler will play for Willetton Dragons for a couple of months – the same club England captain Alastair Cook played for during the 2004/5 winter.

“I’m fit to go,” said the former Northamptonshire player.

“I’ve had this long-standing Achilles niggle, which I’ve been managing for a few years. I had to make sure that was right before I decided to go.

“It will just be good to get some sunshine and freshen up a bit instead of seeing the same four walls all the time.

“I played for them when Alastair Cook was there. I was playing second/third grade as a club cricketer and he was playing first grade.

“I’ve kept in touch with him since then, and I’ve played against him quite a few times over the years. They are a good club. Brad Hogg still plays there at the age of 75 or however old he is.”

Brooks also confirmed a little known tale about Cook’s time with the Dragons.

Revealed on a community radio station in Perth earlier this winter, Cook had some issues with driving offences during that winter and, having not paid the fines, he encountered difficulties when he arrived at Perth Airport during England’s Ashes tour of 2006/7.

“I think he’d passed his driving test a couple of days before he’d flown to Oz,” said Brooks. “He went on the Paul Terry Academy, and their players get assigned clubs. He was assigned to Willetton, who gave him a club car.

“I’ve got speeding fines in Australia before, but they don’t come through for a while. By the time I’d come back to England, the fines went to whoever’s car it was. They sent them on to me to pay.

“I don’t know whether his were parking or speeding fines, but they wouldn’t have come through immediately. He wouldn’t have been there that long.

“He would have got them when he got back home like me. I don’t know what the legal system is, but he would have obviously been in a bit of trouble if he didn’t pay them.

“I seem to remember it was all a bit of a storm in a tea cup over a couple of hundred dollars.”

Hopefully Cook is better on the drive when England head to the WACA for the third Test next week.

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