We Want Cossie

In choosing Mike Hussey as the replacement player for the injured Doug Bollinger, the Australian selectors have missed a big opportunity to mould the national team into a group with which the general public could more easily identify, and once again grow to love. Much has been written about the “disconnect” that the grass-roots cricket fan is experiencing between the team and himself. But, just think for a minute: what if the selectors had bravely drafted Mark Cosgrove into the squad? We ample-girthed supporters would rightly have raised a glass and saluted the selection of the big fella, celebrating at last the cricketer who best represents the shape and stature of a large proportion of the Australian population.

Cricket Australia must surely realise that the average supporter is sick to death of watching players with Tarzan-like bodies. Players like Mitch Johnson, Michal Clarke and Shane Watson, who appear to spend just as much time in the gym as they do in the nets. Let me see “Cossie” in an underwear commercial, not the Pup prancing around with his body art and abs on show. Give me a man who eats what he likes at the luncheon break, not someone who must consult his nutritionist to weigh out the tofu portions before placing them in his mouth. Give me “Cossie”!

At the recent Alan Border Medal night, the legendary K. D. Walters was rightly lauded as he was inducted into the Australian Cricket Hall Of Fame. Those in attendance were slapping their knees and holding onto their splitting sides as Dougie regaled them with tales of his dressing-room antics. And herein lays the nub of the matter: Dougie’s enduring popularity is due in the most part to his larrikin-like off-field exploits…a cigarette smoking, card-playing, beer-drinking typical Aussie bloke. But it now seems that while they are happy for those past deeds to be celebrated, Cricket Australia has made it clear that there is no place in today’s team for pizza-munching boozers. Even though one would have thought Boonie would be sympathetic to their cause. Man-boobs should not be an impediment to selection if a player is good enough.

This is all a real shame, because “Cossie” can actually play cricket. Some may recall that he made his international one-day debut against Bangladesh as a 21 year-old and made a half-century. Who knows, if given a shot at it, “Cossie” could thrive on the responsibility of being selected! And being the welcome poster-boy of the everyman would be an added bonus. Forget past misdemeanours and thrust greatness upon him!

In all seriousness, when Australia’s next Test match begins on the sub-continent later in the year, which left-hander would you rather see striding to the wicket to open the innings with Shane Watson? A man whose technique has you wondering how on earth he got to the elite level, or a gifted, classical shot-making sweet-timer of the ball? I know I would plump for the latter, regardless of the size of his girth.

The team would instantly be more interesting, more appealing and more popular. And I know that Mark Cosgrove would provide me, and many other cricket followers, a greater “connect” with the Australian cricket team.

About Darren Dawson

Always North.

Comments

  1. John Butler says:

    Think of the portly gentlemen who wouldn’t be picked today- “KIpper” Cowdrey, Ken Barrigton, Colin Milburn.

    Cricket (and pubs) would be the poorer.

    Have another pie on us Cossie!

  2. Peter Flynn says:

    I want to see Cosgrove bat with Dwayne Leverock.

  3. johnharms says:

    In good news for blokes who could be given the nickname Chubby or Tiny: Boof Lehmann has just been appointed coach of Qld and has told them to relax, have a go, and that he’s removing the hobbles in the hope they will remember how they once galloped.

  4. Peter Flynn says:

    I reckon Lehmann will make a great coach (and would be a good national coach). Cricket smart and understands the culture of cricket.

    A few beers at the end of each day’s play talking cricket never goes astray.

    And I think SA’s appointment of Darren Berry is a good one.

  5. Dave Nadel says:

    #5 It will be interesting to see Darren Berry’s policies on selection of wicket keepers. He was probably the best Australian keeper of his generation but did not get to play for Australia because Gilchrist was such a brilliant batsman and a good enough keeper to hold his place ahead of Berry on his batting skills. Will Berry choose future South Australian keepers on keeping skills or on their all round potential?

  6. johnharms says:

    I reckon R.M. Hogg might have just been appointed somewhere as well – maybe SA?

  7. Brilliant article smokie
    I also hope to see cossie put on the pads :D

  8. Smokie, they should have sent home the pea heart Tait with Bollinger and brought in Dirk.

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