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Home MCCU's grad Cowan gets Australia nod
Ed Cowan, a product of Oxford MCC University, will become the latest man to wear the famous Baggy Green when he takes the field for Australia on Boxing Day.
Cowan will line up against India at the MCG after new Australia National Selector John Inverarity confirmed the Tasmania batsman will open the innings with David Warner.
The 29-year-old has been in superb form so far this season, stacking up four first-class centuries – including 109 against the Indians in a recent tour match.
Cowan, who came through the New South Wales youth system, spent a year at Oxford MCCU while attending Oxford Brookes University as an exchange student in 2003, having being recommended by future England all-rounder Jamie Dalrymple.
His performances were impressive enough to gain him a place on the British Universities squad for that summer, where he made 137 not out against Zimbabwe.
Graham Charlesworth, who coached Cowan at Oxford wasn't surprised to see his former charge making an impression: "I think Australia was probably a long way away when he was over here but you learn as a coach that it's not just about ball striking ability," he said.
"The players who get to the top have a thirst to learn about the game and to improve all the time and Ed certainly had that trait so in that respect I'm not really surprised to see him doing so well.
"He has been knocking on the door for a while now and this is his opportunity, which he clearly deserves.
"Ed was a good kid with a great attitude and that has clearly served him well."
Moving on up
Cowan’s career trajectory shows a man coming into the peak of his powers after a slightly low-key start to his career with New South Wales.
His move to Hobart triggered a upward spike in his figures as the left-hander plundered 957-runs at 53.16 in his first season for Tasmania.
A call-up for the Australia A side followed, where he made a century against Sri Lanka A.
His prolific efforts this season has also luckily coincided with the wretched form of Phillip Hughes and injury to regular opener Shane Watson, which has kept him out of the side since the series against South Africa in November.