ENDLESS summer afternoons spent watching the cricket as a child sparked a dream for Tess Cooper.
Now the 20-year-old is living her dream, landing a contract with the Brisbane Heat and was named in the 13-man squad for the first time last weekend.
"I only found out about the contract a couple of weeks back,” she said.
"Last week I was named in the 13-man squad so I've come down to Sydney to play against the sixes which was good.
"Selection is week to week when the squad is announced.
"If I'm selected I get the call from selectors a week prior and I get to fly wherever we are playing.”
While the idea of jet-setting to new locations was exciting to the former Emerald local, she said the idea of playing against high quality talent from around the world was the real winner.
"I am playing against some high quality cricketers, some of the best players in the comp,” Cooper said.
"It can't get much better than that.”
As a batter, Cooper said she usually liked to be in the top order, preferably opening for her side.
"Though to open is usually very highly contested so I suppose I'll take what I can get,” she said.
"I just like using the pace of the ball and facing the fast bowlers.”
Cooper discovered her love for cricket early on, growing up in Emerald and playing at club level.
"I played club cricket and then tried for regional stuff then (played for) Queensland teams and worked through the age groups,” she said.
It was from there Cooper was invited to training sessions with the Queensland Fire and eventually signed a contract for the 50 overs side.
Cooper said her contracts were for a season which put some pressure on to make the most of every game she played.
"To prove yourself and your spot on the team, it's definitely competitive and not a walk in the park,” she said.
"It's a hard team to secure your spot in and nothing is set in stone.
"All I can do is keep working hard, getting runs and keeping my performances up.”
While the team is quite young, Cooper said she was one of the younger players on the side.
"I've got a few years to keep coming and playing for my state,” she said. "It started off as something I was interested in watching on TV but as I got older I found out about the women's semi-pro team and it became my dream to play for my state and play at this level.”
As to which form of the game is her favourite, Cooper said both were enjoyable for different aspects.
"I do like the one-day but I'm in my first season of the big bash,” she said.
"There's just so much excitement and it's pretty cool to be a part of it.”
Among Cooper's career highlights, is the century she made while playing for Sandgate-Redcliffe where she scored 118 off 120 balls.
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