West Indies have announced their Test squad to take on India. The selectors did not include Chris Gayle, who dropped a hint during the World Cup that he wanted to play one final Test match at his home venue. However, the selectors did include young off-spinner Rahkeem Cornwall in the squad.
Cornwall made his first-class debut back in 2014 and has since become a regular for Leewards Islands. In 55 first-class matches, he has taken 260 wickets and was the leading bowler in the most recent regional four-day tournament.
"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," Robert Haynes, the head of CWI's interim selection panel, said.
There were always concerns over his fitness
However, there were concerns over his fitness in the recent past. He stands at a towering height of 6'6" and weighs around140 kg. If he does manage to get in a game, he will be the heaviest cricketer ever to play international cricket.
He made quite a name for himself back in 2017 when he troubled the Indians in a tour game. He was mighty impressive with the ball and picked up a 5-wicket haul which included big names like Virat Kohli, Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane.
However, despite the obvious talent and skillsets, there were always concerns over his fitness and people were not convinced owing to his weight. Former chief selector Courtney Browne did concede that they were planning to put into place specific plans which would cater to his weight issues as West Indies would not want to lose out on such a talent.
"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, dieticians, and just getting everybody to come together to help this young player because he's a special talent," Browne had said in 2017.
The young spinner too had commented that weight could be an impediment for his cricket and that, he was willing to shed a few kilos.
He said: "If losing weight is the issue then that is why I am on the programme with the West Indies Cricket Board.
"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."