Cornwall Undaunted By Unfit Notion

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By Neto Baptiste

National all-rounder Rahkeem Cornwall said he is not alarmed by talks over whether or not he is fit enough to compete at the highest level.

The Leeward Islands player, who was recently recalled to duty with the Windies A team, said he is very aware of the notion that his burly physique has kept him out of the region’s senior squad in spite of his outstanding performance in regional and List A cricket over the past five years.

“There are many ways in terms of fitness — you have cricket fitness and physical fitness, but people may use that as an excuse but that doesn’t affect me in any way; I just have to keep pushing. I know what I can do, I know what my limitations are, so I just have to play around myself, not really to suit them, but I just have to try and give a little bit more to impress if that’s the case. I just have to stick with what’s comfortable for me because next thing is that I am going to push [too much] and probably injure myself,” he said. 

The 26-year-old finished the 2019 four-day championships with 54 wickets at an average of 17.68, and was the only bowler to pass 50 wickets in the season. 

The Liberta Blackhawks player said his aim is to perform well in the upcoming home series against India A.

“I am very motivated and I think this is going to be the series that determines if I am going to play international cricket or not, so I just have to go and perform. I have to know where I am supposed to be and what kind of performances I have to put in to put my name in the selectors’ mouths. I just have to keep putting in the work and make sure I am fit and ready to go,” Cornwall said. 

Asked what his biggest test has been in preparation for the upcoming tour, Cornwall pointed to the man in the mirror.

“I think the biggest challenge is me; it all depends on me. Once I keep my composure and go and do what I know I am supposed to do, then everything will run smoothly, so I just have to get it right and don’t put pressure on myself and just go and execute well,” he said.

“At home is always good to be, I think I know the conditions very well so on the day you just have to analyse quickly in terms of what is going on and just go from there,” he added.

The tour opens with the first one-dayer at the Coolidge Cricket Ground here on July 11th with the next two matches scheduled for the Sir Vivian Richards Cricket Ground on July 14th and 16th.

Another Antiguan player, Devon Thomas, was also included in the Windies A team. He is however, currently playing cricket in Jamaica.

Coolidge will host the final two matches on July 19th and 21st.

The first “Test” bowls off three days later at the Sir Vivian Richards Cricket Ground, with the second match carded for Queen’s Park Oval in Trinidad starting July 31st.

The final “Test” is set for August 6th at the Brian Lara Academy, also in Trinidad.

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