The results couldn’t possibly have been any better for left-hand opening batsman Ed Cowan during his dream 2011-2012 season.
His bumper season with the bat saw him top the run aggregate for the second time in three years. By the end of the Sheffield Shield season he had scored 948 runs at 59.25, as well as two other First Class centuries against the touring New Zealanders and Indians – form that earned him a call–up for his Test debut against India at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Boxing Day.
Batting on the opening day, Cowan scored a patient 68, his caught-behind dismissal considered dubious by spectators and media commentators.
The former New South Welshmen went on to play in all four Tests against India, scoring 74 in Perth and being part of Australia’s 4-0 series clean sweep. His sound form against India earned him selection in the Australian team that toured the West Indies soon thereafter. He played in all three Tests in the Caribbean, his 55 in the second innings of the third Test enabling Australia to win the series 2-0.
In the 2012 home series against the No. 1 ranked team in world cricket – South Africa – Cowan reached his ultimate goal: a splendid debut Test century against the tourists in Brisbane. Batting defiantly, Cowan, having lost three top order batting partners in quick succession late on day three, took the fight up to the Proteas. The next day his 257-ball innings ended on 136 (17 boundaries) when he was unluckily run out.
Cowan’s impressive domestic form later earned him a trip to India for the four Test match series in February-March 2012, which brought his number of Test match appearances in the Baggy Green to 17.
Cowan’s move to Tasmania after the 2008-09 season gave his career the boost he needed. At New South Wales he had struggled to make himself a regular member of the strong batting line-up, struggling with both injury and confidence. The move south however brought immediate results.He played every Sheffield Shield match in his first season with the Tigers, scoring 957 runs at 53.16, including a career best 225, followed by a century for Australia A against Sri Lanka A.
The following year, he led Tasmania to their second ever Sheffield Shield win, with a man of the match 137 in the final. Throughout the winning season, Cowan kept a daily cricket diary titled “In The Firing Line: Diary Of A Season” which was published by New South Publishing in November 2011. It was received with critical acclaim – with reviews and endorsements from some of the world’s leading cricket commentators; Mike Atherton called it a “beautifully observed account” in The Times of London. Ed has also written articles for ESPN’s website and a number of other reputable cricket publications.
Ed has played cricket around the world and has actively sought out experiences beyond the mainstream – stints in both Scotland and The Netherlands shaping his views on the cricketing landscape.
Cowan balances his cricket with studies: he has a commerce degree, has worked as an analyst for an investment bank and is about to complete his Masters in Applied Finance.