Date: 15th Aug 2022
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Date: 28th December 2021


Bootle, Formby and Gloucestershire

Day 3

Bootle born Ian Cockbain is currently enjoying one of his most successful periods at Gloucestershire County Cricket club, clocking up the most T20 appearances for his club and overtaking Hamish Marshall as their leading T20 run scorer, passing the 3000 mark in 2021. These performances earned him a spot in the Hundred with Welsh Fire and an extension to his County contract.

Now 34, the young Cockbain could not know what was ahead of him, when as a boy born into the Cockbain Cricketing Dynasty at Bootle, he started running around at Wadham Road almost as soon as he could walk. Dad, Ian Cockbain (Snr) played for Lancashire and Cheshire and was a key part of the Clubs success in winning seven Liverpool Competition titles in the 80s and 90s. Ian’s Grandad, Ronnie Cockbain, is hailed as one of the greatest characters and cricketing legends across the Liverpool Competition and throughout Merseyside, whilst his Uncle, Malcolm Cockbain, was also a Bootle stalwart and played for Cheshire. “Wadham Road was a great place to be for a young lad just wanting to play cricket” he said “and my whole family being there made it special”.

Like so many of the current crop of Lancashire lads now in the County game,  Ian came through the County pathway starting in the U11s where his teammates at the time included Keith Barker , Steven Mullaney and Karl Brown playing one year up. His progress hit a speed bump at the U14s though, when he wasn’t included in the squad. Ian recalls resolving to try even harder until the next year’s trials and he duly regained his place at U15.

Progressing through to playing for Lancashire 2nds he initially found out about the MCC Young Cricketers Programme from Steve Rimmer, a fellow Comp cricketer formerly with Fleetwood Hesketh and now operating down South. After interview and a trial he was accepted on the scheme and benefitted greatly from his time there. “Looking back, it was a perfect stepping stone to a career in County Cricket” he said “I learnt a lot”. Towards the end of his time at the MCC he impressed when playing against Gloucestershire and followed this up with a century in his first trial game for them. Unsurprisingly, Gloucestershire offered him a contract and Ian joined the County in 2010, making his First Class debut against Derbyshire in 2011.

By that time the young man had already begun what is turning out to be a lot more than just a great adventure down under. In 2005 he joined St Kilda Cricket Club and so far, has amazingly played cricket each consecutive winter in Australia for the last 16 years. This has included Grade cricket spells in Adelaide and Melbourne and a spell in Darren Lehman’s Academy. Currently playing for Langwarrin Cricket Club in Melbourne, Ian believes his varied experience in Australia, continues to freshen up and improve his game. 

Coey or Mini, as he is variously known, has never lost touch with the recreational game in England and after seven seasons with Bootle and a spell with Downend CC in the West of England Premier League he can now be found, when circumstances permit, at Formby CC, where his father called time on his own career. He still can’t help wondering why it is that he hasn’t played much red ball cricket, both initially at Lancashire and now at Gloucester, but as he says, “it’s just one of those things”.

Equally at home in Adelaide, Bootle, Bristol, Formby or Melbourne, with Australian born wife Amy and 18 month old son Leo, Ian is simply thankful for the tremendous opportunities and enjoyment the game has given him and is looking forward to whatever 2022 will bring.  


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