London - England captain Alastair Cook has signed a one-year contract extension to stay at county side Essex until the end of 2018, it was announced Wednesday.
Opening batsman Cook, a one-county man throughout his 13-year career, averaged more than 90 for Essex, based in Chelmsford, east of London, this season and scored 643 runs in between his Test commitments.
The 31-year-old left-hander's runs helped Essex win the Second Division title and promotion to the top tier of English cricket's first-class County Championship.
"It was an easy decision to sign with the club for another year," said Cook.
"Although I am away with England a lot, this club means a lot to me and I am grateful for the opportunity they gave me as a youngster," Cook, England's all-time leading Test run-scorer, added.
"I love coming back to the club when I can, and contributing to a title-winning season meant a great deal."
Essex coach Chris Silverwood was delighted to see Cook remain loyal to the county.
"Although Cooky is away with England a lot of the time, it is still brilliant to have him back when he is available," Silverwood said.
"He offers the squad a wealth of knowledge and also a weight of runs."