Should Ed Cowan be presented with a baggy green cap for the Boxing Day Test against
When Cowan was awarded his first NSW cap as 12th man against
It was the same story two weeks later when, in bizarre circumstances, he was called up for 13th man duties for
Cowan, an opener of the left-handed variety for the University First XI and a Sydney University Sports Scholarship holder at the time, was at the Test as a spectator and about to partake of his first beer for the day when he received a phone call to attend the Australian dressing rooms.
He was duly made 13th man and was called onto the ground on day four to field as a replacement for Jason Gillespie. He thus went into cricketing annals as taking the field for
But, as with the NSW cap, he declined to accept any Australian training gear. “Those caps and uniforms are sacred in Australian cricket,” Cowan said at the time. “For someone with aspirations to play at that level, you want to know you’ve earned the right to wear it.”
It has been a long haul and many hours at the crease since those days, but with four centuries in his past four first-class games, for Australia A and Tasmania, Australian selectors believe Cowan has now earned the right to wear the baggy green.
An economic-law graduate, Cowan and
Cowan achieved state and national honours in the junior ranks while at school. He knocked up 218 for NSW at the Australian Under 17 Championships in 1999 and, as a 19-year-old, he was the leading runscorer in the 2001-02 Sydney Grade competition.
He continued a long and productive association with the university and before departing for
During 2003 he spent a term at
Finding it difficult to nail down a permanent spot in the strong NSW side, Cowan moved to
But this season has been his most prodigious to date and, as the runs have flowed his reputation as a solid opener has put him firmly in the frame for national honours.
As the wearer of well-earned club and State caps, Cowan is now within sight of the baggy green, and if that cap fits . . .