IN his own words Trent Copeland is a man who is “bloody proud to pull on the baggy blue”, but when New South Wales hosts South Australia at the SCG from this Friday he won’t be there.
It is not due a lack of form – far from it as the Bathurst seamer has been one of the best performed with the ball across the entire Sheffield Shield competition so far this season – but rather another cricket commitment.
Instead of battling with his fellow Blues for first place on the shield ladder, Copeland is acting as an expert commentator for television coverage of the first Test between Australia and India at Adelaide.
“He approached us during the pre-season and we believe this is a wonderful opportunity for Trent,” Cricket NSW chief executive officer Andrew Jones said.
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“At Cricket NSW, we look after our players on and off the field and are happy to support him in this exciting endeavour.”
Having taken 23 wickets at an average of 16.78 in the four shield matches he’s played so far this season and boasting an impressive economy rate of 2.49, Copeland has been a star for the Blues.
Only four players across the competition have taken more wickets and three of them have played in one more match than Copeland.
Not lining up for the Blues this week was not an easy decision to make, but team-mate Kurtis Patterson said the NSW playing group is supporting Copeland’s choice.
“Look, it's a tough one but Copes is the one hurting the most, I know," Patterson said.
“But we're all supportive of him.
“It's a great opportunity for him, one of those incredibly rare moments which you probably have to take it because if you miss it, you might not get the chance again.
“So all the boys are fine. We're all looking forward to trying to get the best performance against South Australia.”