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Bury St Edmunds bowler Sean Cooper still determined to win Over-50s World Cup after coronavirus halted this year's bid

The coronavirus pandemic may have ended his chances of being crowned a world champion this year, but Bury St Edmunds bowler Sean Cooper remains determined to eventually achieve that goal.

Cooper was part of the England squad that travelled to South Africa for the Over-50s World Cup in March.

And it was a determined England team that made the trip, with a semi-final defeat in Australia to Pakistan two years earlier still fresh in their memories.

Cricket Burwell & Exning v Bury St Edmunds Sean Cooper bowling for Bury Picture Mark Westley. (35516505)
Cricket Burwell & Exning v Bury St Edmunds Sean Cooper bowling for Bury Picture Mark Westley. (35516505)

But after beating India and losing to the hosts, Cooper and his team-mates’ pursuit of glory was halted halfway through their group clash with Namibia. As the health crisis continued to sweep across the globe at an alarming rate, organisers took the decision to end the tournament.

The plan is for South Africa to re-host the competition again next year, and Cooper is eager to play a part.

“After losing that semi-final in Sydney we were keen to go one step further this time,” said the 53-year-old.

“We beat India and then lost a nail-biter to South Africa – they were coached by Allan Donald.

“Things were looking good against Namibia and then it got called off during the game.

“It is frustrating and disappointing, but it is the right decision. When you factor in there would have probably been 4,000 or 5,000 at Newlands for the final, they couldn’t take that risk.

“And while South Africa wasn’t in lockdown at the time, other countries were doing it and we needed to get home. We were lucky, because we have heard three Sri Lanka players were still struggling to get out of South Africa weeks after.

“The hope is that we can go back in about 18 months. The main sponsors seem to be up for it and I cannot wait to give it another go. We are all determined to win it.”

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