By Neto Baptiste
Congratulatory messages have poured in for national and West Indies cricketer, Rahkeem Cornwall, following his historic bowling accomplishment against Afghanistan in a one-off International Test last week.
Cornwall had figures of seven for 75 on the opening day of the Test played in Lucknow, India as Afghanistan was dismissed for 187, and again bamboozled the home team’s top order on Thursday.
The Antiguan became the first West Indian bowler to take 10 wickets in a match in India in 44 years, and he made history by becoming the first Windies spinner to ever achieve the feat.
President of the Antigua and Barbuda Cricket Association (ABCA), Leon Rodney, said Cornwall has always demonstrated he has what it takes to compete at the highest level.
“You know that I have been screaming for Jimbo [Cornwall] for a while; because remember when he took those five wickets against India I think about three years ago in a [warm-up] match in St. Kitts, and then I think it was the year after, or could even be the same year, he took a next five or four wickets against England right there in St. Kitts, again in another [warm-up] match so we have been screaming for Jimbo for a long time,” he said.
“He has delivered and I think he will continue to do so. The reality is that the young man loves the game, he is a student of the game and he can only continue to do well and personally, I am saying this, that a Test century is coming up pretty shortly,” he added.
The last West Indian bowler to take 10 wickets in a Test in India was also an Antiguan, Sir Andy Roberts, back in 1975.
Cornwall also became just the second West Indian to take 10 wickets in an away Test this century, joining leg-spinner Devendra Bishoo, who snared 10 for 174 against Pakistan in the UAE three years ago.
The country’s sports minister, Daryll Matthew, expressed his elation over Cornwall’s achievement, adding that the player continues to prove his doubters wrong.
“It is with tremendous pride that I really extend congratulations to Jimbo on his historic achievement for Cricket West Indies. The confidence that this nation has shown in you has really paid dividends and just know that we continue to support you, we continue to encourage you, we continue to honour your achievement, from a grateful nation, Antigua and Barbuda, Jimbo continue to make us proud,” he said.
West Indies won the contest by a whopping nine wickets within three days.