The First XI: Eleven questions with Kevin Cooper


DOB: 5 August 1962
Player type: All rounder (Ex)
Nationality: English
Playing role: was middle order bat and 1st/2nd change bowler
Teams: Kirkley, Lowestoft, Swardeston and Norfolk.
Career best batting: 164 not out (at age 57!)
Career best bowling: 7 for 17 (aged considerably younger than now!)

1. What is your proudest cricket achievement? 
Always loved the many Carter Cup finals at Lakenham and was pleased to represent Norfolk on their first ever overseas tour to South Africa. Facing Sylvester Clarke in the nets at Surrey and not dying made me quite proud and relieved but as a dad the top pride moment/achievement has to be watching your son stride out at Lords and come back having scored a half century!

2. Who is the best cricketer you have played with?
I was lucky enough to play a tournament with Justin Langer in my side who at the time was the ICC world ranked number 1 batsman. For Norfolk always ranked Steve Plumb as a fine player and for Swardeston I have not played with the more recent crop of fantastic players but in my time I thought Tim Boon was not only a good player but a great bloke too. Of the Norfolk players DT is right up there.

3. What is your favourite ground other than The Common?
Has to be Constantia Uitzig near Cape Town for the views of the vineyard and mountains but locally I have always had a soft spot for Ingham predominantly for memories of the great summer balls they used to hold back in the day.

4. What one tip (advice) would you pass on to our juniors?
Always try to give 100% and remember winning is so much better than losing.

5. How did your love of cricket blossom and develop, do your family or relatives play?
My dad and brother both played and my brother in particular was a good player locally so this encouraged me as the younger sibling to play and compete with him growing up.

6. Do you have a nickname, and if so please explain its significance? 
Coops for obvious reasons but also when I was in my pomp I was called The Peacock as allegedly I would strut about the field a lot!

7. Which team-mate has the best taste in clothes?
When I played I always thought Rob Green was well turned out but he could probably afford it! Probably not Bails in his youth although recently he has smartened up a bit!

8. Which team-mate is the tidiest in the changing room?
Chris Read was always very neat and tidy (again not Bails!)

9. Which team-mate has the best taste in music?
Barty has a similar eclectic taste to me so would say the Chairman.

10. In your opinion who is the funniest player at the club?
In my day Rangoon was always good value but over the last few years I would say the Chuckle brothers better known as Neil and Matthew Taylor always make me smile and sometimes cringe in equal measure!

11. What other sports do you enjoy playing and would recommend to youngster to play and which may complement their cricket? 
I enjoyed playing rugby and now enjoy golf when possible and when the body permits. All ball sports for hand eye coordination are helpful for youngsters and particularly to be part of a team which I believe is important to appreciate the friendship and laughter that you will get from others.

Kevin Cooper picks up the Swardeston CEYMS player of the year from captain Stuart Bartram.

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