Ed Cowan happy to be unsung and unfashionable as he continues to prove the doubters wrong
- James Hooper
- The Sunday Telegraph
- November 18, 2012 12:00AM
Ed Cowan is happy for now to be unsung and unfashionable. Picture: Phil Hillyard Source: The Sunday Telegraph
ED Cowan has never been a fan of trying to sugar coat a sour lolly.
No, he’s not worried about his job security after failing to win a Cricket Australia contract as one of the top 17 players in the country.
Unsung and unfashionable, Cowan has no regrets about leaving Sydney’s eastern suburbs to head to the cricketing outpost of Tasmania in order to carve a name among Australia’s elite echelon of opening batsmen.
Yes, the doubters telling Cowan he didn’t deserve a place at the top of the Australian order for the first Test against South Africa did steel him to notch a breakthrough century in the baggy green.
“It’s pretty hard to avoid people telling you you’re not good enough or you don’t deserve to be in the team or making judgments,” Cowan said.
“That’s part and parcel of the game and I know the only way to stay in the Australian team is to come out and score runs.
“So I was thrilled how I managed to contribute to the team given it was the first Test and it’s an opener’s job to try and set up the game.
“I feel in a good spot to continually contribute. No one’s ever safe in the Australian cricket team. You are either scoring runs or you’re not in the team.
“If you keep scoring runs, your name keeps coming up when the team is selected. I don’t think I’ll ever be in a situation like a Ponting or a Hussey or a Clarke where you’re an automatic selection.
“That’s just the nature of the beast and I’m happy to live and die by the results.”
Striding into the first Test at the Gabba with an international average of 29 from seven Test matches, Cowan needed to blast his 136 to guarantee his place in the side.
Until his gutsy partnership with skipper Michael Clarke, the knock on the Sydney born-and-raised left-hander was he was too conservative and incapable of incorporating any punch into his batting.
Against the world’s No.1 pace bowling attack, Cowan smacked his critics back over the boundary rope by blasting 17 fours in an innings built on grit and aggression.
Irrespective of his maiden century, Cowan still understands the challenge he faces to try and secure one of Cricket Australia’s elite top 17 playing contracts.
“It doesn’t really worry me. For me it’s not been about the contract, it’s been about wanting to be in the Test team,” Cowan said.
“It’s an odd system because you have to contract across three forms of the game and how do you measure guys who play two formats against someone who realistically will only ever play Test cricket.
“That’s the selectors’ job. They communicated that and I was, at the time, really understanding of that.
“It’s a nice inspiration to try and be a part of that elite list and there’s only one way of doing it.”
Rather than being bitter about being forced away from his home state three years ago, Cowan reasons he would still be playing park cricket had he remained in Sydney.
“To be honest, if I was still in Sydney I doubt I’d be in the NSW squad. I was a player who I felt should have been in the team but they viewed that differently and no hard feelings,” Cowan said.
“I moved for opportunity and the Tassie Tigers have been my family. The group they have down there and the investment they’ve put into my cricket I couldn’t be more thankful for.”