Top 5 overweight cricketers in International cricket

Cricket is one of the few sports where one may not find extremely fit individuals. While the level of fitness has increased over the years with the likes of Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers, Mahendra Singh Dhoni setting examples for the other players, but the game was not really filled with extremely fit individuals in the past. Over the years the game has seen some overweight cricketers who have surprised us with their performances and they have also won our hearts as they have carved out a niche of their own.

They have literally changed the meaning of the saying “Survival of the fittest” as they have performed at par if not better than the so-called “fit” cricketers. This article contains a list of 5 cricketers who have forced us to look beyond their weight problems.

1. Dwayne Leverock
The Bermuda cricketer was made to sit out of the national team because of his humongous size and he was considered much of a liability for his side. As a result, he shed down 13 kilograms off his original 136 kg. A relatively leaner Leverock set the World cup 2007 on fire when he took a ripper at slip.

He dived full stretch on to his right and latched on to an edge from India’s Robin Uthappa. Although it was a one-sided affair in favor of India, that catch still remains fresh in the memory of cricket fans. The fact that his mom is a chef and he lives at a place which is quite near to an Indian takeaway might be the reason for him being overweight.

2. Jesse Ryder

Many people call him the left handed version of Inzamam-ul-Haq. The left handed Kiwi batsman may not be as elegant as Inzamam, but definitely, he is at par with him when it comes to power. The Wellington-born batsman is an attacking opener who is also a very useful medium fast bowler.

Former Kiwi wicketkeeper Adam Parore once said that Ryder was not fit enough to play for New Zealand due to his weight which was close to 100 kilograms in 2008. However, Kiwi legend Sir Richard Hadlee had a different opinion about him. As per the legend, Jesse could easily score big runs at the start of the innings both in tests and ODI.

After losing around 10 kilograms, he made his ODI and Test debuts in 2008. He has performed very well for New Zealand across all the three formats so far scoring more than 3000 runs and taking around 19 wickets.

3. Warwick Armstrong

Warwick was an all-rounder who played 50 Test matches for Australia from 1902 – 1921. He was being nicknamed as “Big ship” due to his large physique. More than 190 cm tall and weighing around 133 kilograms the man was huge. Armstrong also captained the Australian team to a 5-0 series win over England on 1920-21 tour and in the 10 matches he captained for Australia he did not lose a single test match with 8 wins and 2 draws.

He was inducted into the Australian Cricket Hall of Fame in 2000. The Victorian-born also played Football for South Melbourne before making his Test debut.

4. Rahkeem Cornwall

At 6’5, Rahkeem might not be the tallest person around in the cricketing fraternity, but if you add to it a body weight of 140 kilograms then definitely he is “big”. The Antigua born batsman bowls gentle off-spin and certainly packs a punch with the bat in his hands.

The 26-year-old came into limelight in 2017 when he struck a breezy 59 runs knock off just 61 balls against a touring English side that had the likes of Ben Stokes, Adil Rashid, and Chris Woakes in a practice match in St. Kitts. He hit 6 boundaries and 3 towering sixes in his innings.

His knock helped the hosts post 233 before the visitors chased it down, thanks to Chris Woakes playing an unbeaten knock of 47 runs. Rahkeem has not got the opportunity to play for the Windies as of now. But if he works on his fitness then possibly he can be seen playing for his national team in the future.

5. Mohammad Shahzad

Mohammad Shahzad is Afghanistan’s one of the most celebrated batsmen who also keeps the wickets for them. Majority of the runs scored by him are usually in boundaries. Weighing around 90 kilograms, he is a complete opposite to a fitness freak like Virat Kohli. The 31-year-old from Afghanistan knows that he is overweight but he does not doubt his ability at all as he believes that he can hit bigger sixes than Kohli despite not having the exemplary fitness and skills possessed by the Indian skipper.

“Dekhiye hum fitness bhi poori karte hain aur khaate bhi poora hain (I work a lot on my fitness but I do not compromise on food). You want me to have a fitness routine like Kohli, it is not possible, but I am working on it (losing weight),” Shahzad told TOI.

The wicketkeeper-batsman has played 80 ODI matches for Afghanistan scoring close to 2600 runs at a strike rate of almost 90 while in Twenty 20 Internationals, he has scored 1860 runs in 64 matches at a strike rate close to 135.

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