CRICKET’S find of the summer, fast bowler Trent Copeland, has made his first major sacrifice as a professional: he’s accepted a Cricket Australia ban on playing hockey.Before he broke into the NSW team, the 24-year-old played for the famed St George club. However, a clause in his prized contract prevents him from engaging in dangerous pursuits – and the risk of injury while playing hockey ranks the sport alongside the likes of skydiving.”It would be good to still play hockey purely for fitness,” Copeland said. ”It’s disappointing in the sense I really love the game but I appreciate it’s necessary for me to stop so I can further my cricket. And cricket-wise I have things to do that take time during my days; things like working on improving my batting.”Copeland, who took 35 wickets at 17.57 in only five games of his first season in Sheffield Shield, will press strongly for selection in the Australia A team to play Sri Lanka A in Queensland next month.The A team is used to blood Cricket Australia’s next generation of frontline players. Copeland knows he can’t afford to relax despite taking more wickets than Glenn McGrath, Brett Lee, Doug Bollinger and Stuart Clark in their debut seasons.”Has it sunk in? Definitely not,” said Copeland, who announced his arrival with 8-92 on debut against Queensland in January. ”It’s been significant, but if I’m really serious about playing for Australia or Australia A or even cementing my place for NSW I can’t rest on my laurels. It’s been a great start but I have to back it up, and that means hard work.”Copeland, who only started bowling four years ago because he was tired of suffering broken fingers as the wicketkeeper for St George’s third grade XI, realises he’s now a marked man. However, he scoffs at cricket’s so-called ”second year” syndrome – a term describing the struggle some rookies encounter in the following year at the elite level.”I imagine people are going to watch vision of me from this season but … second year syndrome, it doesn’t really affect me.”I will keep it simple. The best advice I’ve ever been given is that you can’t focus on the ball after your next one. It’s about me bettering myself by doing the work to ensure I continue to take wickets and that I add new dimensions to my game.”Copeland hopes his decision to recruit Glenn McGrath’s manager Warren Craig as his agent will help form an association with Test cricket’s most successful fast bowler.”If my association with Warren means I could talk to [McGrath] about what he did when a batsman started to get on top of him, or when to bowl a bouncer and how he prepared, it would be a valuable asset.”
Nanjing Night Net