Courtney Walsh, Joel Garner, Curtly Ambrose, Jason Holder – if you’re an avid cricket fan and you hear these names, you immediately think West Indies. Besides giving stand-out performances for the Caribbean nation over the years, these stalwarts have another thing in common – their height!
In the upcoming Test series against India, another name has been added to this list – Rahkeem Cornwall.
The 26-year-old spin bowling all-rounder earned his maiden Windies call-up for the two-match rubber, and is making his international debut in the second and final Test at Sabina Park starting 30 August.
The Fitness Issue
Cornwall first played first-class cricket in 2014 and has since picked up 260 wickets from 55 matches, including 17 fifers and two 10-wicket hauls. He has also scored a total of 2,224 runs at 24.43 including 1 hundred and 13 fifties.
But, at 6'6" and around 140 kilograms, the Antiguan all-rounder couldn't make it to the West Indies squad earlier due to fitness issues.
"Rahkeem has been performing consistently over a long period of time and has proven to be a match-winner, so we believe his elevation to the Test squad is merited at this time," said Robert Haynes, head of CWI's interim selection panel.
"“I’ve been putting in a lot of work over the last couple of months. I’ve always pushed myself. I feel I can go on and I think the on field results I’ve achieved have shown the progress I’m making.” " - Rahkeem Cornwall
The right-handed batsman first came to the limelight in 2017 – notching the lowest bowling average in his Caribbean Premier League (CPL) team and with his 61-ball 59 against a touring English side.
In 2018-19, Cornwall claimed 54 wickets in nine matches at an average of 17.68 to emerge as the leading wicket-taker. In international A-team cricket, most notably in the 2018, he clinched 19 wickets at an average of 18.42 during their 3-0 home series win versus England Lions.
In the recent series against the touring India A, Cornwall took nine wickets in six matches. Batting in the lower middle order, he scored a total of 123 runs and picked up four wickets in the two unofficial ‘Tests’ including two half-centuries.
"I believe the Test format suits my game because of the consistency a player needs over a long period of time to be successful, and I've enjoyed that challenge so far in my career playing first-class cricket," Cornwall had told the Cricket West Indies website ahead of ongoing series.
. Read more on Cricket by The Quint.RSS & BJP’s Nehru-Netaji ‘Cosplay’: Irony Dies a Thousand Deaths2nd Test: WI Opt to Bowl Against India, Cornwall Makes His Debut . Read more on Cricket by The Quint.