Green batsmen Marnus Labuschagne and Travis Head have given Australia cause for optimism after their gritty resistance against a surging England attack helped them hold on to their 1-0 Ashes lead.
Just a reminder to the Australian selectors and cricket media that there’s another very talented Aussie cricketer currently plying his trade in England.
A skillful batsman who’s made over 14,000 first class runs at an average of 40 (plus taken 52 wickets), has international experience and is younger than Shaun Marsh.
I’m talking of course about Mark Cosgrove.
He used to be spoken about all the time as an international prospect – even if always with the same qualifier: ‘he’s too fat’.
To many – including me – he was a throwback to the 80’s and 90’s, when fat batsmen used to be everywhere; David Boon, Greg Ritchie, Mike Gattinga and Arjuna Ranatunga. That said, Rahkeem Cornwall gives me hope this era may return.
Cosgrove played three ODIs in 2006 (scoring 74 on debut) and occasionally seemed to close to the Test team once or twice, but you always knew he had to get on the paleo before reaching Test level and he never did. Over time, he drifted off the radar.
Even during Australia’s batting recession of the 2010s, when people like Rob Quiney and Alex Doolan got picked and so many chances were given to Shaun Marsh, Cosgrove was overlooked for the Test team despite consistent form.
Cosgrove eventually got the boot from Australian state cricket at the end of the 2015-16 season.
But to his credit – and presumably a desire to avoid finding a real job, grade cricketer style – he’s gutsed it out, plodding along in county cricket, scoring steadily for Glamorgan and then Leicestershire – and he seems in no hurry to retire.
Now, to be clear, I don’t think Cosgrove should be in the frame for international selection – that ship has sailed.
I wouldn’t mind seeing him back in Australian domestic cricket – surely the presence of veterans like Cosgrove raise the overall standard of play rather than diminish – but that’s up to him and the states.
What I do definitely think is that we should take a moment of remember, and appreciate, Cosgrove.
He’s much missed back here!