Tom Cooper has become the Brisbane Heat's first new signing for the coming summer after agreeing a deal for the next two Big Bash Leagues. His coach at the Heat, Darren Lehmann, welcomed the update, lauding the experienced batsman as "a good game manager".
Cooper, the Netherlands international with 23 ODI and 18 T20I caps, is a very experienced T20 campaigner, having turned out in 145 games over the years for 2454 runs at an average of 22.93 and strike rate of 128.68.
"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,'' Lehmann said. "He's a handy bowling option too and always brings a lot of calmness and insight when he is in the field."
At the BBL, Cooper played a total of 71 games for the Melbourne Renegades - making him their most capped player - and also captained them on occasion. He was a key part of the squad when the Renegades won their maiden BBL title in 2018-19, playing 16 games and aggregating 324 runs. Cooper, 33, made his T20 debut in December 2008 for South Australia, and has also represented the Adelaide Strikers in the BBL.
Lehmann said Cooper's experience at playing in a wide range of conditions, and his international experience - including at the 2011 50-over World Cup and the 2014 and 2016 T20 World Cups - would be useful for the team.
"He's shown he's adaptable and has the game to be a success in differing environments and roles," Lehmann said. "I think he can be a very good fit with our squad and provide the younger players with some handy insights."
The 2020-21 edition of the BBL is scheduled to begin on December 3 and run till February 6 with potentially taking place in rolling hubs around the country due to Covid-19.