Photo Credit: Brisbane Heat
The Brisbane Heat have locked-in the experience of batsman Tom Cooper for the next two KFC Big Bash Leagues.Cooper has played 145 career T20 matches, with 18 T20 Internationals and 23 ODIs for the Netherlands including two ICC World Cup campaigns.
He has captained the Melbourne Renegades, where he was a key member of their BBL|08 premiership team and leaves the club as their most capped player.
He has played 71 BBL games for the Renegades, scoring 1202 runs at a strike-rate of 125.20
The 33-year-old made his T20 debut for his home State South Australia and has also played in the BBL for the Adelaide Strikers.
His signing for BBL|10 and BBL|11 brings the NSW junior almost full circle, with Brisbane qualifying neatly as Cooper’s new ‘home away from home’ with his family hailing from Corndale near Lismore in northern NSW.
Younger brother Jack was a Queensland Under-19 player last summer and currently plays Premier Cricket with the Gold Coast Dolphins.
Heat coach Darren Lehmann said Cooper’s versatility and composure were among the qualities that made him an attractive recruit.
“He’s a really good game manager, especially batting, and has the ability to either get his team away to a flyer at the top in the Power Plays or be innovative in the middle overs and close out an innings,’’ he said.
“He’s a handy bowling option too and always brings a lot of calmness and insight when he is in the field.
“I know from past encounters that he enjoys playing at the Gabba, and his family are always keen to catch up with him when he is here, so we think he will enjoy the chance to make a fresh start with the Heat.”
Lehmann said Cooper’s experience at playing in a wide range of conditions, and his international experience, was a much sought-after quality.
“He’s shown he’s adaptable and has the game to be a success in differing environments and roles. I think he can be a very good fit with our squad and provide the younger players with some handy insights,’’ he said.
Cooper is the first new signing for the Heat for the coming summer.