Ian Cockbain – Batting Versatility
So 10 years ago our paths crossed when I became Head Coach of the MCC based at Lord’s. My main role was to lead the MCC Young Cricketer program for aspiring 1st Class cricketers so Ian was absolutely in the right place. Ian had played Youth cricket at Lancashire and like so many others made the brave leap to secure a professional contract outside of his beloved County. It was path trodden by myself and I really appreciate the resilience it takes to remain aspirational at this sensitive time. This is a quality though that is extremely helpful as a top order batsman. With a full fixture program against the County 2nd XIs, Ian was often faced with a couple of 1st Class bowlers in opposition and he worked it out quickly – another endearing quality.
Naturally Counties wanted a closer look at Ian and a knock of 140+ in a low scoring game for or against Glos (can’t remember exactly) was key to his signing. He was always capable of standout brilliance and always first on the list for 12th Man duties for England when they played at Lord’s. To complement your ability, there is a certain temperament required to perform and I saw it as well as the England Management and of course Gloucestershire did.
Known now as a destructive T20 player, Ian adjusted his options to be very impressive here but it wasn’t long ago when Coey was batting a day and a half to save a Championship game for Glos. This versatility was probably underused but nonetheless he is a player you want in and around the team as he makes such positive contributions including in the field where he is (was) electric. Just to qualify that last sentence; I am not suggesting Ian is not a great fielder anymore, I just haven’t seen him field recently.
I am so glad the Club has recognised this contribution and awarded him a Testimonial for 2019 so best of luck Coey and well deserved.
Ian Cockbain Testimonial
Firstly it gives me great pleasure to write this for Ian. What most people don’t see is the effort and work ethic that goes on ‘behind the scenes’ in professional sport, I know how hard Ian has worked to make the most of his ability and he thoroughly deserves this testimonial year.
I can’t recall many other ‘Scouser’s’ that have played for Gloucestershire and there is no doubt that there was a slight language barrier when Ian started playing for us! I was lucky enough to captain some great overseas players, communicating with players from the Caribbean or Sri Lanka should be tough and I was expecting that, but having to ask my team mates what Ian said and meant was unexpected! Ian would run up to me at first slip and make a suggestion and I just nodded and said ‘great idea’.
What became very apparent early was Ian’s ability to time the ball so well, which over time has become more suited to white ball cricket, in which he has played some crucial match winning innings for the county. From the non-strikers end I always knew boundaries would come as so often the ball was sweetly timed and would disappear, easing the pressure of the situation. The ability to win games single handedly, and his ever reliable, often match changing fielding meant he became a constant and important member of the team in which his progress has been great to watch from afar.
As mentioned white ball cricket became Ian’s strength, but we always knew whatever format Ian would be committed and try his hardest for the team. This was demonstrated with Ian’s amazing innings against Surrey in a championship match when Ian batted for 2 days to save the team and earn us a remarkable draw in the unlikeliest of scenarios. Guts and determination have never been in doubt.
It’s great that a player who has shown professionalism and determination get awarded a testimonial year. Ian was, and still is a lovely young man who cares about his teammates, and I wish Ian and Amy a successful year and wonderful future.