Rahkeem Cornwall is 24 years old, 6-foot-6, over 300 pounds, and poised to make a big splash. Though he has yet to make his international debut for the West Indies, the pudgy cricketer impressed in yesterday’s exhibition game between England and the West Indies President’s XI, as the two nations warmed up for a three-game series next week.
As a batsman, Cornwall hit a neat 59 runs off 61 balls, including three fours (where the ball rolls out of the field) and three sixes (where the ball leaves the field on a fly). But he’s primarily made his name as a bowler. Despite any expectations set by his size, Cornwall specializes in spin bowling, a style that prioritizes spin and guile over raw power. He’s had a dope week on that end, according to ESPNcricinfo:
Despite his obvious mobility issues - he dropped Bairstow at slip on 46; perhaps a match-defining moment - he has bowled more overs than anyone in the regional four-day competition (and only two men have more wickets) and is a genuine contender for an international place.
Now that we’re done with the tedious numbers, please enjoy some images of Cornwall at work yesterday.
With teammate Jahmar Hamilton, for scale:
Savor it while it lasts, because according to the Mirror, Cornwall’s physique is already under scrutiny. Courtney Brown is the West Indies’ chairman of selectors—they pick the region’s international squad—and he thinks the large son must be resized.
“We’re actually putting a programme in place for Rahkeem where we are actually going to have someone to manage him overall ... We are looking at the various components of him playing cricket where we are looking at coaches, dieticians, and just getting everybody to come together to help this young player because he’s a special talent.”
I say let the roly-poly bowler thrive, but Cornwall says he’s willing to shed the pounds, so he can let his game speak: “So I am putting in my best and putting in the work to lose the weight if that is the case; because it can’t be performance so I will do what I have to do to make the West Indies team.”