Tom Cooper to face Lancashire on Tuesday
Tom Cooper, who has joined Somerset for the whole of the 2015 season spent the morning working in the nets alongside his new team-mates ahead of the final pre-season match against Lancashire that gets underway on Tuesday at the County Ground.
Right handed batsman Cooper, who is Australian by birth but qualified to play for the Netherlands, spent two hours facing a variety of bowling to get used to the April conditions in England.
Shortly after taking off his pads the 28 year old said: “Its very nice to finally be here in Taunton. Things all got sorted out a couple of months ago so to actually be here at the County Ground at last is very exciting for me.
“My first few days in England have been a lot colder and wetter than I thought but today is great so hopefully we will get a few more days of sunshine and get this game in and then its full steam ahead.
“It has been good to get outside and practice in the nets with the Somerset boys and I as I haven’t picked up a bat for a couple of weeks it has felt good. I had a good hit out there this morning so I’m very excited to get back into things and everyone seems ready to go.”
Over the years Somerset have numbered a long list of Australian players, including Greg Chappell, Ricky Ponting, Cameron White and Justin Langer so how did he feel about following on from them?
“I guess I have got some pretty big shoes to fill but hopefully I can go out and do my job and score a lot of runs. More importantly is that the team has some success and wins some trophies.
“You play cricket to win games and to win silverware so that’s what we are aiming for. From what I have seen everyone is in a good place, there is a good hype around the town and of course it will take a lot of hard work but hopefully that will result in silverware at the back end of the season.”
What had he thought of Somerset so far?
“Living in Adelaide back home its not the biggest of cities going around. Taunton feels nice and relaxed, but the whole place, the town and the cricket club seem very friendly so hopefully it will be an enjoyable and productive six months stay.”
Talking about how he might fit into the line up Cooper said: “Coming into the team a lot of people are in a settled spot so I’m not sure where I’m going to fit in. However my job is to score as many runs as I can wherever that is in the order so hopefully I can have some success.”
Regarding tomorrow’s game Cooper said: “ Hopefully its going to be a good hard hit out which is what you want going into a season as it gives you an indication of how you are going. Lets hope for some good weather so we can put on a good show for everyone to see, and give us a good lead in for the game against Durham at the weekend.”
Looking towards the match against Lancashire the Somerset Director of Cricket Matt Maynard said: “ We are treating the Lancashire match as our first proper game. I think we have been working nicely in our pre-season building up the intensity and we need to make sure that when we do that the skills remain good as well, which is what we will be doing for the next three days. We will then have a short break to review things ahead of the game against Durham.”
The DOC added: “We have got our full complement of players and this will be the first game for Tom Cooper and Abdur Rehman on the grass in this country for a little while so it might take them a little while to settle in. However it’s a good deck here at the County Ground and the practice has gone well so I’m hopeful that they will bed in quickly and get us some runs and wickets.”
The Somerset squad for the Lancashire game is- Marcus Trescothick (capt), Jim Allenby, Alex Barrow, Tom Cooper, Lewis Gregory, Tim Groenewald, James Hildreth, Johann Myburgh, Craig Overton, Jamie Overton, Abdur Rehman and Pete Trego.
The three day game against Lancashire gets underway at 11am on Tuesday. Entry to the game is free and refreshments will be available all day.