140kg West Indies behemoth plunders England attack

Rahkeem Cornwall bats during the tour match between the WICB President's XI and England at Warner Park in Basseterre, St Kitts.
Rahkeem Cornwall bats during the tour match between the WICB President's XI and England at Warner Park in Basseterre, St Kitts. Gareth Copley

ENGLAND'S bowling attack has been battered all around the park by a giant of a man as they warmed up for a series against the West Indies.

Eoin Morgan's team played a 50-over game against a West Indies President's XI at Basseterre - but they didn't reckon on coming up against 200cm, 140kg Rahkeem Cornwall.

Cornwall, 24, has made his name at first-class level as an offspinner, taking 125 wickets in 25 matches at an average of 24.

But despite only averaging 23 with the bat he had no problem dispatching an English attack featuring world-class bowlers Ben Stokes, Adil Rashid, Chris Woakes and Liam Plunkett to all parts.

The giant Antiguan cricketer hit 59 runs off just 61 balls, including three sixes and three fours.

He was eventually dismissed when he hit one straight to Rashid off the bowling of Woakes.

Cornwall, who would even put Bermuda's famously portly spinner Dwayne Leverock in the shadows, is seen as a future international if he can get his weight under control.

"We're actually putting a program in place for Rahkeem where we are actually going to have someone to manage him overall," West Indian chairman of selectors Courtney Browne recently told a local radio station, as reported by The Mirror.

"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."

Cornwall, who appears to be getting heavier if images of him playing for Antigua a few years ago are anything to go by, says he's on board.

"If losing weight is the issue then that is why I am on the program with the West Indies Cricket Board," he said.

"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."

West Indies fast bowling great Andy Roberts isn't ready to brand the big man a future Test star.

"He has been ready to move higher for more than a year now, but for me to say he is ready for Test cricket (is premature)," Roberts said.

"I don't think we really know when anybody is ready because you have a number of players, especially here in the Leewards, who perform very well at regional level but fail to impress when they go a little bit higher."

England was able to chase down the WICB President's X1 score of 233 with seven balls remaining as Jonny Bairstow (86) fired with the bat.

But there was some bad news to come out of the match for the Poms. Jake Ball was able to bowl only 2.1 overs before limping from the field.

Ball left the ground after feeling pain in the back of his right knee and a team spokesman later confirmed the seamer would play no further part in the match.

- with The Sun

Topics:  england cricket team west indies

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