In a world already burdened by misery, prejudices, doubts, opinions, and vague assessments, how can someone’s body mass index be a cause of concern? Every sport needs characters. Rahkeem Cornwall is one of a kind.
A soft-speaking man from the Caribbean islands whose credentials in the national team point to his all-round talent. He’s been in the CPL. There he’s hit bowlers out of stadia around the glowing islands.
He was a revelation against Afghanistan last year in Lucknow in the one-off Test where his 7-75 emerged as a refreshing feat for a bowler playing in a batting-heavy unit.
Yet, mustn’t one forget, the 27-year-old man is subjected to more prejudice than what’s meted to many others around.
If Cricket is the love of your life, then it’s a sport where the Antiguan has become a household name. There’s little doubt about that.
Why else would Cornwall continue to persist where he clearly sees there are leaner, muscular, and hence, more agile athletes around him?
And in here lies the complexity.
Our reflection of Rahkeem Cornwall defines us, not him. His weight, it must be thought about clearly, is his business. Not ours.
It’s, therefore, absurd that most publications, when Cornwall first appeared nearly half a decade back (in a friendly against the touring England side) described him as the following:
“West Indies unfurl a new monster on the stage!!”
Such a description in an age where we talk about embracing one’s body is absurd. It lacks the general sense of regard we must habitually possess for the other.
So long as there’s talent, ‘weight’ should not even be a parameter of assessing Rahkeem Cornwall’s talent for it’s what he does with the ball in hand and the bat from down the order that should actually matter most.
The very thing that will matter for the West Indies in a few hours from now come Ageas Bowl.
But we are hypocrites.
We are unless you’re forgetting, a habitually annoying lot that at the first instance of running into a mate after months, say hi later and remark, “Hey, you’ve put on weight” / “you’ve become fat” first up.
As if that increases the price of fish?
This insidious way of being and behaving definitely says something about us.
Come to think of it. In the 21st century, where we smoothly use the term ‘libertarian’ to describe ourselves, prescribe to ‘equality,’ wear T-shirts that state “support equal rights,” all we’re often concerned with Rahkeem Cornwall is his weight not his love for Cricket?
How absurd is that?
What defines Rakheem Cornwall isn’t just the gigantic built, as conveniently used in inferences that sort of appraising the ‘big man,’ as he’s called.
It’s the fact that he wishes to prove himself in an age where gym-honed bodies are about as real as infuriating trolls and meme-armies that are ready to take you down the moment you put one random word out of your mouth.
That we must encourage Cornwall to perform better, not only since’s he’s begun on a good note but desires to keep improving, is our fundamental duty.
This England tour will be key to defining his Test abilities. Already, a seemingly patient lad, his contributions shall be crucial to Jason Holder-led side where Shane Dowrich scoring runs is great and enterprising news.
Imagine all that West Indies can achieve if Kraigg Brathwaite regains that lost form, Chase and Hope stick around, and Jermaine Blackwood rediscovers the lost touch?
On top of it, Cornwall’s contributions can hold the team in good stead.
Moreover, his own coach Simmons asserted his importance, saying, “His size has not been an issue. If you see him at slip and some of the catches he has taken, there is no issue there. He’s also capable of bowling enormous amount of overs.”
Yet, how often do we even get there when the subject is Rahkeem Cornwall? We mustn’t forget, in times where bullying is the norm, encouragement is the greatest gift you can ever give the other. No?
To conclude, our concern mustn’t be whether he sheds a few extra pounds and that kind of nonsensical talk.
We’d much rather be concerned about how will Rahkeem Cornwall apply himself versus James Anderson and company?
What will be the right-hander’s plans against Ben Stokes’ men? Which English batsmen can the 6’5 tall all-rounder get with his useful off-breaks?
Because C’s for Cricket and C’s also for Cornwall. The two will hopefully be intertwined in the same phrase.