Gloucestershire century-maker Ed Cowan thanks the Cheltenham ground staff
GLOUCESTERSHIRE overseas star Ed Cowan issued a heartfelt thank you to the ground staff who made play possible on the second day of the LV= County Championship match against Essex at Cheltenham.
Despite the wet weather that has played havoc with the English cricket season for nearly two months now, College Ground head groundsman Ross Spry and his team succeeded in staging the game.
Without his expertise and hard work, Australia A captain Cowan would have been denied an opportunity to issue a timely reminder to the selectors back home.
Desperate to score runs in this country and cement his place in the Australia Test squad for next summer's Ashes series, Cowan seized his chance with both hands, carving out a gritty 103 as Gloucestershire reached 284-4 before the rain returned.
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Recruited as an overseas locum to bridge the gap between Kane Williamson departing and fellow New Zealander Rob Nicol arriving next week, Cowan told The Post: "I think the ground staff have done an unbelievable job to get this game on at all.
"Considering the amount of rain we have had in the last couple of weeks and how the weather has been generally over the past two months, I'm surprised we managed to get out there at all.
"Fortunately, the rain held off long enough for me to post a decent score and it was something of a relief to see the wicket play so well.
"It was difficult on a drying wicket and the outfield was very heavy, but I'm just pleased to have had some time in the middle.
"An hour in the middle is worth five or six in the nets and I have played for more than five hours in the past two days, which is more than I expected."
He added: "My aim is to make the Ashes squad and every run I score over here will help my cause.
"I don't expect to be dropped from the Test squad any time soon, but, given the way the media are back in Australia, you constantly have to prove yourself.
"Hopefully, they will hear about this innings and stamp me on the forehead as someone who can make runs in English conditions."
Gloucestershire attempted to sign Cowan last winter and the 30-year-old Tasmania batsman is not ruling out a return in the future.
He said: "If I'm not playing in the Ashes next year, of course I would love to come back and play county cricket for Gloucestershire.
"The interest is there now and it is definitely something I would consider if the chance arose."