Who is Rahkeem Cornwall?
Rahkeem Cornwall is an all-rounder from the islands of Antigua and is arguably the heaviest cricketer ever. He stands at a towering height of 6’6” and weighs 140 kg (if he plays for WI, he will be the heaviest cricketer ever to play international cricket). In spite of being so big, Cornwall has made a name for himself in cricket with his heroics in the West Indian regional tournaments.
He plays for Leeward Islands in the domestic circuit and was also a part of Antigua Hawksbills in the Caribbean Premier League before the team was disbanded.
Why has he been in the news recently?
England are set to play three ODIs in the West Indian islands and the Poms kicked-off the tour with a tour game against the West Indies Cricket Board President's XI, for whom Cornwall was playing. He came into bat when his side was struggling at 55/5 in the 17th over and scored a 61-ball 59 that included six fours and three sixes to help the WICBP XI reach a decent total of 233 in 50 overs.
Though England somehow managed to cross the line with seven balls to spare, the Antiguan bowled brilliantly and ended with figures of 10-1-39-1. His all-round performance against a visiting England side along with his towering presence made him trend on social media platforms.
His records in domestic cricket
Cornwall has played 25 first-class matches in which he scored over 1000 runs at an average of 24. With the ball, he has 125 wickets with a wicket every 50 balls. With the red cherry, he averages 24.19.
In List A matches, his records are much better as the right-hander has scored 557 runs in 21 innings at an average of 35 and with the ball, he has taken 20 wickets in as many innings with an average of just over 30, conceding just 3.4 runs every over.
His numbers in T20 matches are not great as he averages just 8.50 (85 runs in 12 innings) with the bat at a strike-rate of less than 100. Even with the ball, he took just 14 wickets in 15 innings at an economy of 7.76.
He caught the eye during a WICB President's XI match against India in July last year as he scored a valiant 41 and took five wickets including the ones of Indian batting mainstays Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane. Later that year, he was selected to represent West Indies A in Sri Lanka and went on to take a series-high 23 wickets at an average of below 20.
In the recently concluded Regional Super50 tournament, Cornwall scored 252 runs at an average of 50.40 and strike-rate of 117 in seven innings apart from taking 10 wickets at an average of 31.3 with an economy of 3.63.
It is certain that he is in the selectors’ scheme of things and this is evident from what the West Indies’ chairman of selectors, Courtney Browne said recently. He said, “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, dietitians, and just getting everybody to come together to help this young player because he’s a special talent.”