Trent Copeland

Australian Test & NSW SpeedBlitz Blues Cricketer

The Second Test. Pallekelle aka “Rain-ville”

I come to you all the way from Kandy, Sri Lanka where we flew in on Sea Plane. I can assure you, the only ‘sea’ that was evident was the take off point at the army barracks, and the landing point which was a dam – It looked more like the lateral water hazard on the 5th tee at Kandy Golf Course, as our Physio ‘Lex mentioned!

A very nice, if a little bumpy ride in with views of the mountain ranges approaching Kandy and we were off to Earl’s Regency hotel.

The stadium at Pallekelle is very modern and upon arrival we (The Test players who hadn’t been there before) were pleasantly surprised with the facilities. I was plonked down next to Big Bustling Ryan Harris and the youngster James ‘hehe’ Pattinson.

Two days out from the match and there was already a massive air of excitement about what lay ahead for another debutant, Shaun Marsh or ‘SOS’ to us. With Ricky flying home to be with his wife for the birth of their new baby girl, SOS was fortunate like Nathan and I last week to find out he was playing well in advance and was able to prepare as best as you possibly can whilst being ridiculously nervous! Congratulations to Ricky and Rianna on their little girl Matisse Ellie Ponting, and hopefully Ricky will be back for the third test!

Not only was it a special moment for SOS, but also for his father Geoff Marsh, who made the trip over to be a part of one of the most moving things I have seen on a cricket field. The morning of the match, Geoff Marsh presents his son Shaun with Baggy Green number 422 and talks about how proud he is. What a moment. The best was yet to come… 

SOS impressed the cricket world no doubt scoring 141 on debut, being part of a record-breaking 4th wicket partnership with, who else, Mike Hussey (142). I must say the whole occasion with the cap presentation and then the hundred brought a tear to the eye. Yes I can admit it! I’m sure my fiancé Kim will attest to that.

Prior to the remarkable debut, losing the toss and bowling first was a real test of our resolve as a bowling group and definitely something we relished. Making the most of the new ball was crucial and all the bowlers did a great job to have Sri Lanka 5 wickets down at lunch on day one.

On a personal level taking 2/24 in the first innings was a very memorable day. The ball to get Dilshan nipping back and taking off stump, and Mike Hussey’s catch of the century (I’m a little biased) to get Mahela Jayawardene especially. I must say it’s still a bit surreal to me even typing those guys names who I’ve watched on TV for so long to be playing with and against them. Pinch me.

A big first innings lead thanks to all our batters and a good bowling performance on a dead wicket left us well in front in the match!

Unfortunately, as the headline reads, this Test match was dictated by endless rain and bad-light delays… Keeping us from taking our commanding position in the match forward to another win and an unassailable 2-0 lead in the series. I don’t think Kandy in September would be the ideal holiday destination if you were looking for some sun!

One massive thing I am thankful for so far is how keen everyone is in the group to embrace new players and most importantly their families. My little brother, Ryan is 12 years old and is a future superstar at cricket (probably AFL and Soccer too!). I brought him into the change rooms today after play and he was lucky enough to get Brad Haddin’s shoes and some training gear, along with signatures from all of the boys who have become my teammates, but are his Idols. 

On a personal note, my gorgeous fiancé Kim has just been picked in the Australian Diamonds Netball squad for the upcoming test series against the Poms and Kiwis in October. And thanks to the newly appointed Aussie coach Lisa Alexander, Kim is on her way to be here in Sri Lanka for the third and final Test of the series. Amazing news for me, as anyone who knows me well, knows that Kim plays a big part in me being successful on the field. And yes Usman (The PDA Police) I cannot wait!

Back to Colombo tomorrow and to the SSC ground, where the average 1st innings score we’ve been told is around 500! Another funny quote from our Sri Lankan liaison we have over here was… “You play well in Galle, turning wicket, you will get good results in Kandy, and the SSC… well… You do ‘Hamstring ‘ for this one. Not good wicket for bowlers” haha Classic. I will most definitely not, and can’t wait for the challenge. 

Wow that was a long one! Hopefully next time I write, we will have a series in the bag…

Copes

Posted 527 weeks ago

My Debut Test Match, what a game for so many reasons!

I’m back! And what a week it has been!

The Baggy Green atop my head walking in to the change room after skipper Michael Clarke had won the toss and decided to bat. A good result on an already deteriorating pitch (Yes it deteriorated before we started! haha). I would’ve loved to have gone out there and bowled first up, but for the sake of the match it turned out to be a perfect decision!

A tough first day in which ball challenged bat, Herath and Randiv proving to be very difficult with catchers all around our batters and to put it lightly, Watto was out to Herath’s first ball of his first over (The 7th of the 1st day of the test!!), the ball giving a massive puff of dust and biting to be caught at slip. The crowd was up and it was a sign of things to come from the wicket.

I came out to bat after tea with the score 8/236 and boy the nerves and adrenaline were pumping! Facing Suranga Lakmal with the ball reversing. Luckily for me the first ball was a full-toss on leg stump which I was stoked to have flicked for four! I hit a few of fours to end up with 12 and was caught at bat pad off Randiv. 

The hero of the day was Mike Hussey. What a genius the man is, finishing with 95 runs in these conditions was phenomenal. 

The following morning was where it all started for me! Taking the field for the first time, Baggy Green on and Michael Clarke giving us all confidence that the runs on the board was priceless. Ryan Harris took the first over and then it was my turn… 

I’ve never been so nervous. Bowling to Dilshan who if you don’t hit the right spot, will punish you! And that he did, my first ball wide and full and BANG. See You Later he said and four runs off my first ball. Chin up was all I could think and then next ball, a little shorter in length and Dilshan slashed, CAUGHT by Ricky Ponting!!! I went Mental. I didn’t know what to do. I had a test wicket. I felt I immediately belonged. 

Finishing my first over, then the second and so on, the nerves settled and it became business as usual. The day belonged to my fellow debutant though. The great man Nathan “Gary” Lyon, who dismissed Sangakkara with his first ball in test cricket and went on to take a screamer of a caught and bowled to finish with five wickets on debut! What a day for the two of us and Sri Lanka were all out for 105. 

These were amazing moments which I will never forget. 

Going into the fourth day and we were a serious chance at winning this test. Mahela Jayawardene scored a fighting 105 but we bowled very tight as a unit and Ryan Harris was on fire and really led us all the way, taking five wickets and bowling Sri Lanka out for 250 late in the day for us to win the first test of the series!

One from one! A win on debut and what a feeling. The picturesque ground at Galle International Stadium is fronted by the Galle Face Fort, which is where we went to celebrate and sing the team song. Another priceless memory and something I hope we can do very often as a group in the future! 

What a week and I really cannot explain how amazing the feeling is to be a part of this Australian Test Team. Neither can my mum - who has been spotted in several parts of Galle jumping around screaming and in shock with the week’s events! I don’t blame her though, I am doing the same thing, just behind closed doors.. Between you and me of course!

Off to Kandy next and then to the SSC in Colombo to finish the series. 

Until next time,

Copes

Posted 528 weeks ago

Baggy Green # 420... Its Mine!

Well this blog is surely the happiest any young cricketer can write.

The scene is set… Two days from our opening Test Match to begin at Galle, training at the ground is on and we arrive after a 45minute bus ride from the hotel to see what is a most amazing wicket. For those of you who did not see this match it looked like a Day-4 Australian wicket, still two days away from starting!! So for me I was sceptical at my chances of playing in the test as we expected it to turn square early on!

I went through my paces with slips catching (I love fielding in there not only for the challenge, but also the ability to look at the game tactically from behind is priceless as a bowler), bowling preparation and batting - my god it was an experience my first net session on a dustbowl in the subcontinent - fair to say I didn’t hit many balls in the middle! A work in progress…

Then came the moment every kid in Australia dreams of! Michael Clarke and Greg Chappell pulled me aside and told me I was to make my debut in this test match. “You’re kidding me” were my first words. Followed by an incredible conversation which I will remember for the rest of my life where these two men showed incredible faith in what I do and how I go about my business. What a feeling. 

Following training I had learned that Nathan Lyon was to Debut in the test also. How exciting for the two of us… Country NSW boys from Bathurst and Young playing Test Match cricket for our country. A bit of ‘you bloody beauty’ chat between the two of us had passed and all of a sudden it was the morning of the match.

I woke to what can only be described as a piece of history from one of the GREAT Test Cricketer’s and Great people of my time - A hand written letter from Justin Langer with the envelope titled… 

“Trent Copeland (Australian Test Cricketer) 30th August, 2011.”

The contents of the letter will stay mine, and go with me everywhere until the day I retire, the underlying message being to back yourself and enjoy the experience! 

I was lucky enough to have my Mum, Stepdad, little brother and Aunty over in Sri Lanka, soon to be followed by my fiance Kim. As the tradition lends, in warm up Doug Walters and Greg Chappell were there to present our Baggy Green’s to us! Doug stepped up and spoke briefly about what it means to be an Australian Test Cricketer, how lucky I am and that this rare 'club’ of people would be backing me every step of the way. And then the gooooooooooooood part.

Placing that Baggy on my head with tingles down the spine and everyone watching and clapping. The feeling was immense. I was Australian Test Cricketer number 420 and no one could take that away from me. Greg Chappell proceeded to do the same for Nathan as number 421, and then we were into the business side of things - off for warm up (Still wearing our Baggy Green’s!).

Stay tuned for my recollection of what was my Debut Test Match for Australia,

Copes

Posted 528 weeks ago

Training, Tour Match & my first 5fa in Aussie colours...

Well I am back again and all I can say is WOW.

Training Intensity - WOW. Tactical Preparation - WOW. The people in the Australian Team and Support Staff - WOW. I really am “singing the praises” of the whole experience (I may be a little biased just because I am so excited just to be here, but hey… I’m allowed to!).

The training environment has been quite confronting the first week or so that we’ve been here in Colombo. For those of you who aren’t familiar with the weather here… Think of one of the hottest places you have been to, add 95% humidity and you’re just about there. But we are acclimatising and have been pushing ourselves so that we are all fit and match ready come the First Test in Galle. A few shaky stomachs and some sweaty bus trips will surely have us prepared for anything Sri Lanka can throw at us. 

The ODI’s are finished with a great series win! Now the 7 of us Test-Only boys (Siddle, Khawaja, Hughes, Beer, Harris, Lyon and myself) are intermingled with the rest of the group around the hotel, full training sessions and really feel like our tour has begun.

The first match of our tour was next and even though I was not pulling on a Baggy Green, being picked to play for Australia for the first time was incredible! Opening the bowling… Fielding at 1st Slip, and batting at number 8 for Australia… Again, WOW! (Seems to be a theme here doesn’t there).

The match was against a Sri Lanka Board XI and was captained by Angelo Mathews, containing five or six players with Test Match experience. Bowling first and straight into it. What an amazingly nervous feeling it is when you are in a team full of Superstar cricketers and wanting to make an impression!

Luckily enough for me the 1st day went amazingly well… My first wicket for my country - Thirimanne caught behind by Brad Haddin was one I will always remember! All the boys bowled well Ryan Harris, Peter Siddle and myself all had patches where we beat the bat and after lunch probably bowled that fuller length and got the rewards. My first day as an Australian cricketer and I finished with 5/47 off 20 overs. Quite a few of the wickets were Test players and it really gave me the confidence that I needed at the start of the tour, and if nothing else gave the impression that I was ready if needed in the Tests coming up. 

The match ended in a draw, but the feeling in the dressing room was that we had blown the cobwebs out, played some good cricket and most importantly felt like we had got our preparation in that we needed. I must say it was a sight to behold Shane Watson - genius allrounder and the great man himself Ricky Ponting after 152 tests happily running drinks and helping us out wherever possible (as did J. Pattinson and M. Johnson who also sat out this match). 

The standout performances were my NSW teammate and ‘hands in pockets whilst lurking’ Usman Khawaja with 101 retired, Skipper M. Clarke scoring an unbeaten 104 and looking in ominous form, Ryan Harris with wickets in both innings, Nathan Lyon (Another playing in his first game for Australia) with two wickets for the match and Sids also bowled very well without luck!

So now its off to Galle for the start of the 'Warne - Muralitharan’ Test Series. I am pumped to say the least and cannot wait to be a part of the build up. Hopefully some exciting times and most importantly, Test Wins lie ahead… 

Until next time, 

Copes

Posted 529 weeks ago

My First Test Tour...

  

Well here we go! 

So, my first Australian test team tour… And it’s off to the Solomons’ Homeland in Sri Lanka. Media at the airport, Boarding a flight donning the Cricket Australia suit and tie and it had all begun. 

The sheer fact that I am in these surroundings is beyond my wildest dreams and has been great following my first week in Colombo where the ODI series is in it’s final stages with the 5th and final match today. 

We have been training as an entire squad with fielding and the test-only boys have been batting/bowling by ourselves and then helping out the ODI boys where possible. 

The hotel (Cinnamon Grand) is a serious establishment with shopping malls, spas, restaurants and more interestingly - Harry Solomons’ brother owns a Hair and beauty salon inside the hotel! It’s a small world. 

We have alot of down time in between training and game days an having coffee with the likes of Ponting, Langer, Hussey.. And the list goes on is a serious luxury and I’ve been trying to get as many stories as possible!

Very excited to go to the game today and be a part of the dressing rooms again, the 4th ODI was great to be there and see how things work, how guys like Ponting, Hussey, Clarke and Lee etc prepare for games (In the 50 degree heat mind you!). 

My mum, stepdad and little brother will be arriving over here shortly, as will the great man Kev Pillay which will be great to have some support and familiar faces around. Hopefully my fiancé Kim will be able to get over in between her training at some point, I’m sure she would love the shopping! 

The experience has been priceless and have loved every minute, bowling well in the nets and can’t wait for the test matches to start next week. 

My prediction for the tour is N. Lyon to take a bagful! 

Until next time, 

Copes

Posted 530 weeks ago