AN unbeaten double century has propelled former Lismore cricketer Tom Cooper into the eyes of the Australian selectors after a powerhouse performance in a Sheffield Shield match against NSW at Bankstown Oval in Sydney.
The 24-year-old, who grew up at Corndale, finished on 203 not out in the second innings after scoring 98 in the first innings as South Australia held on for a draw against the Blues.
"He's definitely put himself out there," former Queensland Sheffield Shield spinner and Far North Coast Cricket secretary John McMahon said last night.
"This will go down as his best performance to date and he is in the eye of the selectors now, there is no doubt about it.
"Double centuries are rare and that was what got (Usman) Khawaja noticed last year."
Cooper has played 12 first-class matches since moving to South Australia four years ago.
He was delighted to reach the career milestone after his first innings dismissal.
"Very nice," Cooper told a Sydney newspaper.
"It's always nice to get some runs and to hold off for the draw makes it even better."
The memorable innings comes less than a month after Cooper brought up a century and hit the winning runs when the Redbacks defeated the Blues in a Ryobi Cup day-night match at the Adelaide Oval.
"He has been rated as one of the best drivers of the ball in Australian cricket and I would have to agree with that," McMahon said.
"There is no better wicket (to bat on) than the Adelaide Oval and he gets to bat on it consistently.
"The World Cup experience with the Netherlands definitely helped."
Former Southern Cross University student Peter Cantrell played Sheffield Shield cricket for Queensland in the late 1980s and early '90s, and was selected for Australia A.
He also coached the Netherlands in the 2007 World Cup.
"They're both similar frames and have a similar background, but I would say Cooper will go a lot further," McMahon said.
"Cooper has excelled at all three levels of the game and Cantrell wouldn't have had the same experience to make him the complete cricketer."