Former Lismore cricketer Tom Cooper playing a Sheffield Shield game for South Australia. Cooper has not been offered a new contract after several seasons with the Redbacks.
Former Lismore cricketer Tom Cooper playing a Sheffield Shield game for South Australia. Cooper has not been offered a new contract after several seasons with the Redbacks. JAMES ELSBY

Cricket: Tom Cooper hit for six as Redbacks cut batsman

FORMER Lismore batsman Tom Cooper is at the crossroads of his professional cricket career after he was cut from the South Australian Redbacks squad of contracted players.

Inconsistent performances coupled with the emergence of younger players at the Redbacks has seen Cooper and experienced batsmen Mark Cosgrove dropped for next season.

"He's obviously disapointed but it's just one of those things," his father Barry Cooper said.

"He didn't have a good season and they are pushing to bring some of the young guys.

"It's just the reality of professional sport and I'm not sure where he goes from here with the other state rosters finalised."

Cooper, 29, could still earn a recall next season if he decides to hang around and play Grade cricket for Adelaide University.

He could get another contract if he plays a certain amound of Sheffield Shield or one-day games.

The Redbacks dropped him from the Sheffield Shield side in February before he went on to join the Netherlands team for the World T20 in India.

Cooper and his younger brother Ben have dutch heritage with their mother Bernie born in Netherlands New Guinea.

Ben is currently living and playing cricket in England and Tom spent time there last season with Somerset in the county championship.

Tom has had plenty on his plate over the past few seasons.

He was at the crease with Phil Hughes in 2014 when he was struck on the neck by a ball and later died in hosptial.

Cooper was among the paulbearers at the funeral in Macksville the following month.

"It's been a pretty tumultous 18 months or so for Tom," Barry Cooper said.

"Where he goes from here I don't know but I don't think this is the end for him yet.

"I'm sure things will work out for him with whatever he decides to do."

Meanwhile, another former Lismore player is on the move after he was released from his Queensland contract.

Simon Milenko will move to Hobart after he was picked up by Tasmania.

Milenko played for Eureka in Lismore junior cricket and moved to Brisbane after completing his HSC.

He attended university and qualified as an accountant but stopped working just over a year ago to concentrate on cricket.



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