Robert Maskew Cowper (born 5 October 1940) is a former cricketer who played Test cricket for Australia from 1964 to 1968, and Sheffield Shield cricket for Victoria and Western Australia from 1960 to 1970.
|Full name||Robert Maskew Cowper|
|Born||5 October 1940|
Kew, Melbourne, Australia
|Relations||Dave Cowper (father)|
David Cowper (brother)
Source: Cricinfo, 23 July 2019
Bob Cowper was the son of Dave Cowper, who captained the Australia national rugby union team in the 1930s. Bob was educated at Scotch College, Melbourne, and began playing for Hawthorn-East Melbourne in 1958. Two years later he was in the Victorian side.
A tall, correct left-handed batsmen, Cowper scored heavily for Victoria in the 1962-63 and 1963-64 seasons and was selected to tour England in 1964. He was successful in the county matches but not in his first Test at Headingley. He took part in Australia's next tour, to the West Indies in 1964-65, when he "displayed courage, a cool temperament and fine technique in dealing with the hostile pace of Hall and Griffith". He was Australia's leading run-scorer in the Test series, with 417 runs at an average of 52.12, including centuries in the Second and Fourth Tests.
He was dropped in the 1965-66 Ashes series for slow scoring. When he was recalled for the Fifth Test at Melbourne he made the first Test triple-century in Australia: 307 from 589 balls in 727 minutes. Matthew Hayden's 380 against Zimbabwe in 2002–03 is now the highest Test century in Australia, but Cowper's remains the longest.
After his triple-century he was never omitted from the Test side until a hand injury forced him out of the Fifth Test in 1968. In the last 13 matches of his Test career (the 1966–67, 1967–68, and 1968 series) he scored 931 runs at 38.79 and took 31 wickets at 25.22. In those 13 matches no other Australian player exceeded 800 runs, and only Graham McKenzie, with 49, took more wickets. Cowper was only 27 when he played his last Test, at Headingley in 1968, almost exactly four years after his first, at Headingley in 1964.
Remarkably, he averaged an impressive 75.78 in home Tests but only 33.33 overseas. The difference of 42.45 is a Test record.
Since retiring from playing, Cowper has had a successful career in big business, and has also served as a cricket referee. In 1977 he joined the administrative board of World Series Cricket. In the 1980s he moved to Monaco.
- "First-Class Matches played by Bob Cowper". CricketArchive. Retrieved 24 July 2019.
- The Oxford Companion to Australian Cricket, Oxford, Melbourne, 1996, pp. 125–26.
- Alex Bannister, "Australians in West Indies, 1965", Wisden 1966, pp. 817–31.
- Mukherjee, Abhishek (5 October 2016). "Bob Cowper: The first man to score a Test 300 on Australian soil". CricketCountry. india.com. Retrieved 20 December 2016.
- The best – and worst – travellers
- "Benaud, Chappell administrators". The Canberra Times. 52 (14, 886). Australian Capital Territory, Australia. 20 September 1977. p. 28. Retrieved 4 May 2018 – via National Library of Australia.
- "Great wall of silence in Monaco". 22 January 2005.
- "Long-off Cowper on a rich seam". 11 July 2003.
- "CV inducts four new Life Members". Cricket Victoria. 5 March 2018. Retrieved 30 July 2019.