|Full name||Bransby Beauchamp Cooper|
15 February 1844|
Dacca, British India (now in Bangladesh)
|Died||7 August 1914
|Batting style||Right-handed batsman|
|Only Test (cap 3)||15 March 1877 v England|
|Domestic team information|
Bransby Beauchamp Cooper (15 March 1844 – 7 August 1914) was a member of the Australian cricket team that played the inaugural Test match at the Melbourne Cricket Ground in 1876–77. Cooper was born in Dacca in what was then British India in 1844. He played first-class cricket in England for Middlesex County Cricket Club and Kent County Cricket Club before moving to Australia where he played for Victoria cricket team. He was the first Indian-born cricketer to play Test cricket. He was a right hand batsman and wicket-keeper.
Life and career
Cooper has been described as "a public-school educated product of the English establishment". He was born in British India and educated at Rugby School before going on to play first-class cricket for Middlesex and Kent. He played in the first match Middlesex played after their formation in 1864. He also played for MCC and the Gentlemen amateur side, often playing with WG Grace who made his Gentlemen debut in the same match as Cooper. He played eight times for Middlesex sides between 1864 and 1867 before moving to play nine times for Kent in 1868 and 1869.
He moved firstly to the United States, then to Australia after the 1869 season and played for Victoria in 11 matches, including nine intercolonial matches against New South Wales. He has been described as being "recognised as the leading batsman in colonial cricket." In the inaugural Test match at Melbourne in 1877 Cooper was expected to be named as captain as Victorians outnumbered New South Welshmen. Dave Gregory was instead elected by the players for this honour. In what was to be his only Test match Cooper scored 15 and 3 runs and took 2 catches whilst becoming the first player to make their Test debut on their birthday.
In all first-class matches, Cooper scored 1,600 runs at a batting average of 20.51, took 41 catches and made 20 stumpings. His Wisden obituary said that he batted in a "very attractive style" with ""patience and sound defence" and that he was a "fairly good wicketkeeper without approaching the front rank". He died in 1914 and is buried in the Geelong Eastern Cemetery.
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- Cooper Bransby Beauchamp, Geelong Cemeteries Trust. Retrieved 2 September 2016.
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