The Big Bash League is the only sport which isn’t darts on TV. Mince pies in the oven, imaginary chestnuts roasting by the real radiator, presents bought, nothing to do; the usual Christmas Eve anti-climax ensuing. On the telebox, Ricky Ponting races his way to 63 from 45 with some exquisite lofted drives of the grace with which one doesn’t usually associate with him. Owais Shah, yes that is the Owais Shah, flicks his wrists and the Hobart Hurricanes post a decent total of 177 in spite of a good spell from the promising young leggy Zampa, who got turn and ended up with 3-26.
The egg-timer chimes, (well, more of a shrill screech than a chime) and I go sort out the mince pies. They look alright. I leave them to cool on the rack and return to the TV.
The channel has changed, it’s on the darts. A fat bloke is waddling along looking somewhat forlorn, he must have lost. The camera pans out and he’s holding a bat and a helmet. He is so portly that it still takes me a couple of minutes to realise that he is actually a cricketer and the channel hasn’t changed at all.
He is podgy, he is unhappy, he is Mark Cosgrove.
Instantly I was gripped. Who is this man? Who is this defier of fitness drills, this avid avoider of modern diets, this proud purveyor of pork? I recognised the name, sure, but like any moderately average cricket blogger, I turned to cricinfo.
‘Cossy’, as he in known in a clever Australian-nickname kinda way, has been a fairly regular overseas player at Glamorgan in the past, averaging more than 50 for them in 2006 and being in the runs again in 2009 enough to be invited back over the last two seasons too. He even managed to pick up some Australian caps, albeit in One Day Internationals, playing 3 times in an era when Australia weren’t in complete turmoil. In fact, back in 2006 they were really rather strong yet Cosgrove still got his not insignificant frame in the selector’s minds.
Since then, the weight of expectation and his belly has hindered further progress, and he was dropped from the South Australia side he’d grown up with. His only notable success came in the annual County Cricket lunch-off in 2010, where he overcame a stiff challenge from Robert Key to reclaim the crown he’d held back in 2006.
Here are a few more pictures of ‘Cossy’, thankfully not in a swimming cossy, to paint a wider (sorry) picture of the man. Enjoy, think of them as an early Christmas Present!