Australian cricketer Tom Cooper hits his half century during the opening day of a two-day tour match India vs a Cricket Australia Chairman's XI at Manuka Oval in Canberra on December 15, 2011. AFP PHOTO / Mark GRAHAM
Australian cricketer Tom Cooper hits his half century during the opening day of a two-day tour match India vs a Cricket Australia Chairman's XI at Manuka Oval in Canberra on December 15, 2011. AFP PHOTO / Mark GRAHAM MARK GRAHAM

Big Bash League ‘here to stay'

MELBOURNE Renegades batsman Tom Cooper will look to overcome a mystery injury ahead of the team's Big Bash League Twenty20 cricket match against the Sydney Sixers tomorrow night.

The Lismore District junior was a late withdrawal when the Renegades lost to Sydney Thunder on Tuesday night.

"I think it's only a slight injury and hopefully I'll be right for the next game," Cooper said.

"I'm not even sure what it is; I had pain in my ribs and up the side of my body.

"I thought I would be right to play but we'll see how it progresses."

Cooper, 27, has been batting in the middle-order for the Renegades and had his best T20 score of the summer when he made 60 in a loss to the Melbourne Stars.

He has played in all three seasons of the BBL.

"It's always an exciting time of year," he said.

"The crowd involvement and the publicity it gets is huge.

"It obviously didn't exist when I was growing up but it's definitely here to stay.

"It's now part of the job to play all formats and you learn to deal with that."

While he enjoys the T20, Cooper is looking forward to the Sheffield Shield resuming next month.

The former Corndale lad made 171 for South Australia against Queensland in November.

"You take a lot of confidence out of something like that and hopefully I can contribute more leading into the finals," Cooper said. "If I can churn out a few more big scores and help the team I'll feel a lot better personally."

The Renegades' final game of the BBL competition rounds is against Cooper's former team the Adelaide Strikers next Wednesday night.

"We haven't really played anywhere near as well as we could have this season," he said. "But if we win our last two games we're still a chance of playing in the finals."



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