By Neto Baptiste
National and Liberta Blackhawks cricketer Rahkeem Cornwall said he will “back his ability” should he debut for the senior Windies men’s team in the first Test against India scheduled to start here on August 22.
Speaking for the first time since he was announced as part of the 13-man squad to play the two Test series, with the second match slated for Jamaica, Cornwall was relieved he had finally been given an opportunity to play at that level.
“I’ve waited a long time and now that the time has come I just have to relish it, appreciate it and do what I have to do. I just have to go and perform to the best of my ability; once I do the right things consistently and for a long period then there is no doubt I will perform,” he said.
Cornwall made his first-class debut in 2014 and has since been a regular for Leeward Islands, even captaining the team earlier this year. He has amassed 260 wickets from 55 first-class matches and finished as the leading bowler in the most recent regional four-day tournament.
The player said he understands what it takes to play at the highest level and will be ready when the time comes.
“From day one, Kenneth Benjamin has always told me that the easiest thing to do is make a team but the hardest thing is to maintain your position in the team. I think I have a couple more weeks before the first Test, so by then I should be completely ready. I would say that I am about 60 percent ready at this moment but as it gets closer I will be at 100 percent,” Cornwall said.
Usually a man of few words, Cornwall thanked fans in Antigua and Barbuda for their support thus far, adding he will try his best not to disappoint.
“Back your skills and back your strengths on that higher level and once you do those things there is no doubt that you will reap rewards. I know the support will be a big one because everybody has been waiting for this for a long time; I just have to go and perform and don’t disappoint. At the same time I still have to keep my head on and do the right things that are needed at the time,” he said.
Cornwall has also been part of several West Indies A teams, including the one that played against India A recently. Batting in the lower middle-order, he scored two half-centuries and picked up four wickets.
Squad: Jason Holder (c), Kraigg Brathwaite, Darren Bravo, Shamarh Brooks, John Campbell, Roston Chase, Rakheem Cornwall, Shane Dowrich, Shannon Gabriel, Shimron Hetmyer, Shai Hope, Keemo Paul, Kemar Roach.