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Former Australia and NSW seamer Trent Copeland retires from first-class cricket

Copeland finishes with 410 first-class wickets including six in three Tests for Australia back in 2011

Alex Malcolm
Alex Malcolm
Trent Copeland has announced his retirement from first-class cricket  •  Mark Brake/Getty Images

Trent Copeland has announced his retirement from first-class cricket  •  Mark Brake/Getty Images

New South Wales stalwart and Australia three-Test seamer Trent Copeland has announced his retirement from first-class cricket.
Copeland has been a mainstay of Sheffield Shield cricket over the past 14 years having taken 410 first-class wickets at 25.65 including 21 five-wicket hauls and three 10-wicket hauls.
Copeland, who turns 37 on March 14, said it was the right time to step away.
"It's one of those things where it's probably been coming for a little while," Copeland said. "Thinking at the start of the season, would it be my last year? I'm about to turn 37. It's probably time when I handed the reins over to some of the younger boys.
"I'm incredibly proud of what I've achieved but also what my family and certainly my wife and kids have allowed me to achieve through their support. I'm very lucky."
The 195cm tall swing bowler has tormented Australian domestic batters across his career. His unerring accuracy and ability to swing the ball both ways in friendly and unfriendly conditions made him one of New South Wales' finest-ever Shield bowlers.
He burst onto the scene in his debut game as a 23-year-old taking 8 for 92 in his first Shield innings with the ball, the second-best figures by a New South Wales bowler on debut, and claiming ten for the match. He took an extraordinary 80 wickets in his first 15 Shield matches at 21.57. It got him selected on an Australia A tour of Zimbabwe in 2011 and the subsequent three-Test tour of Sri Lanka a month later. He took 5 for 47 in the first tour match and debuted in the first Test in Galle alongside Nathan Lyon. Copeland played in all three Tests in Sri Lanka and took six wickets as Australia won the series 1-0. He also went on the following two-Test tour of South Africa but did not play.
The emergence of fellow New South Wales quicks Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood at Test level meant Copeland never got another opportunity for Australia but their absence from Shield cricket allowed him to dominate the domestic competition. He played in four Shield finals and helped New South Wales claim two titles. He took 52 wickets in the 2018-19 season including match figures of 8-126 in a losing final against Victoria at the Junction Oval. Only 12 bowlers in the competition's history have ever taken more wickets in a single season. He finishes equal 11th on the all-time Shield wicket-takers list with 344 scalps at 26.30.
Copeland also played one season for Northamptonshire in division two of the county championship in 2013 and took 45 wickets at 18.36 in just 10 games including four five-wicket hauls.
Copeland only played 29 List A games but did play in New South Wales' Matador BBQs Cup [Australia's domestic One-Day Cup competition] triumph in 2016-17 taking 2 for 33 in the final against Queensland. It was his last List A game.
He only played three T20s across his career playing one for NSW in the old Big Bash competition in 2011 and then two in the BBL, including one for Sydney Thunder in 2012 and one for Sydney Sixers in 2014.
In recent years Copeland has combined his Shield playing duties with NSW with television commentary working for Channel Seven on their Test and BBL coverage as an analyst. It's something he will continue to do post-playing but he would also like to coach at some point.
"I'll finish playing as of right now but I'm still going to be very much involved with Seven's cricket commentary team, sitting in the best seat in the house at all the best venues watching the best cricket so I'll be heavily involved there," Copeland said. "My ambitions post-cricket are certainly to either be involved in a coaching capacity or administratively as well. So what that looks like I don't know. But I'm going to sit at home with [wife] Kim and the kids and have a bit of family time."

Alex Malcolm is an Associate Editor at ESPNcricinfo