Firstly, I love sport. Particularly cricket. Sport’s a great leveler.
I also love athletes who, to use a pun, break the mould.
You know — people who aren’t “athletes”. Professional sports people who even I could beat in a 100 metres dash — knowing they wouldn’t make it past the 50 metre mark.
Which brings me to Mark Cosgrove.
Cosgrove, is a phenomenal cricketer, a prodigious batsman, a peerless talent. A South Australian — long touted to be destined for baggy green — he made the move to Tasmania this summer in hope of greener pastures after being axed by his native state.
A place in the Australian cricket team has avoided him — his dedication has been questioned in the past, in fact, his contract was suspended for “being out of condition” and he’s come out publicly vowing to “clean up his act“.
So question his laziness or tidiness — but don’t question his ability.
Yesterday, Cosgrove smashed 159 against Victoria in the Sheffield Shield. Smashed ’em.
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So which other sports people have — despite being horizontally challenged — succeeded at the highest level of their chosen craft? Crikey Sports lists our favourites:
1. John Daly. Deserves to be number one. And by the length of a MacDonald’s drive through. Golf’s bad boy not only won the US Open and the USPGA he won fans’ hearts through his hard drinking, cigarette smoking, hotel trashing ways.
2. Babe Ruth. The “Sultan of Swat” is rightly an American sporting legend. A seven time World Series champion and member of the Baseball Hall of Fame, Ruth’s shadow is cast large over America’s favourite past time.
3. William “Fatty” Foulke. Foulke was as close to a cult figure in late 19th British sport as one could find. He was perfectly proportioned to be goal keeper for Sheffield United and later played for both Chelsea and Bradford City. The famous sporting sledge “Who ate all the pies?” is believed to be invented about him. True.
4. Dean Rioli. The Essendon premiership player was about as mercurial as you will find on a football field. Sadly, the game no longer allows for players of Rioli’s girth — which in my opinion is a shame.
5. Mark Tookey. The Rugby League journeyman who played for South Queensland Crushers, Parramatta Eels and the New Zealand Warriors and had a love affair with food that equaled that of his love for league.
5. Dwayne “Sluggo” Leverock. The former Bermudan cricketer is best known for taking a ripper catch at 2nd slip during the 2007World Cup. What is with big fellas and cricket?