Tom Cooper, a right-handed batsman, made his state debut back in 2008, and he didn’t take long to make his mark. In just his fourth one-day match for South Australia, he announced himself with a brilliant century against New South Wales, the state of his birth.
Cooper’s international presence grew significantly when he played an extraordinary innings of 160 not out from 120 balls for the Prime Minister’s XI against the touring West Indies side in early 2010. Later that year, he made the decision to represent the Netherlands, a choice made possible by his Dutch heritage, as his mother was born in Dutch New Guinea.
Cooper’s international career got off to a scintillating start, becoming the first cricketer to score half-centuries in each of his first three ODIs. He further impressed with a century in his fifth match and a 96 in his seventh, resulting in an impressive average of 81.33 at that stage.
He represented the Netherlands in the 2011 World Cup and then found his form for the Redbacks in Sheffield Shield cricket, notably scoring an unbeaten 203 against New South Wales in Sydney. His excellent performances in the 2013-14 season, where he accumulated 881 runs at an average of 51.82, earned him a call-up to the Australia A side.
Cooper also had a successful stint in the Big Bash League, playing for both the Adelaide Strikers and the Melbourne Renegades. Additionally, he played a crucial role in guiding the Netherlands at the 2014 World Twenty20 in Bangladesh, where he maintained an outstanding average of 57.75 for the tournament. His remarkable innings of 45 from just 15 balls against Ireland was particularly noteworthy, securing the Dutch team’s qualification win.