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‘Is the problem genetic?’: Former West Indies players criticize Rahkeem Cornwall

Rahkeem Cornwall continues to be a valuable asset for the West Indies, but questions about his 'fitness' and 'technique' continue to be thrown at him.

By: Sports Desk | Updated: November 25, 2020 2:48:19 pm
wiRahkeem Cornwall does not use the crease enough to bowl, said West Indies spin legend Lance Gibbs. (File Photo/West Indies Cricket)

Rahkeem Cornwall, the 27-year-old West Indies off-break bowler, continues to be a promising talent for the national team, but also continues to be criticized for his ‘fitness’. The 6′ 7” and 308-lb cricketer is thought to be the heaviest Test cricketer in over a century.

Tony Gray, one of the numerous fast bowlers West Indies unleashed in the late ’80s, is the latest to ask questions of Cornwall.

“I ask the question that has never been answered. Is Cornwall’s problem genetic, because if it’s genetic it’s going to be difficult to lose the weight. If not, why hasn’t he lost the weight yet, since the under-19 level?” he said on the Mason and Guest cricket radio programme earlier this week.

“I share Lance Gibbs’s opinion…the thing about it is if you look at Cornwall’s mechanics, he is a big guy, he takes two steps and it puts a lot of pressure on his body,” he added.

READ | Cornwall’s run out leaves CPL commentators in splits

“Early on in his career he should have been coached with better mechanics, giving him at least four or five steps. Spinners who can rip the ball, they don’t only use their wrist or their fingers, but obviously, their body as well and you can’t use your body if you are taking only two steps.”

‘Where is the rhythm?’

Lance Gibbs, a rare spin bowling legend from the Carribbean from the ’60s and ’70s, had also criticized Cornwall’s bowling technique last week.

“How can you take two steps and bowl? Where is your rhythm, where is that rhythm?” he had asked.

READ | Rahkeem Cornwall: The Big Easy

“As a spin bowler you have got to use the crease, you have the return crease and you have the stumps, you have to bowl between those two. I never then had to go around the wicket to bowl, a lot because by using the crease I could get close to the stumps on the offside and still bowl and make it go on straighter instead of going around the wicket.”

Fielding worries

Franklyn Rose, another Windies bowler from the ’90s, had also questioned Cornwall’s fitness — as well as Oshane Thomas’s fitness — recently.

Rakheem Cornwall, Rakheem Cornwall catch, CPL 2020, Cornwall catch, Zouks vs Warriors, SLZ vs GUY, cricket news Rakheem Cornwall is usually seen fielding in the slips. (File Photo/CPL)

“He has a lot of talent, but no disrespect, I have a problem with his fitness,” Franklyn Rose told the Mason and Guest radio program.

“Say for example they play him in the first Test, and he makes 100 runs. ‘Very well done, congratulations’ but when he goes out into the field to field, how many runs is he going to give away?” he added.

Cornwall has already played three Test matches, where he has claimed 13 wickets with a best of 7 for 75 against Afghanistan.

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