Although I joked about it the other day, it's a little disappointing how the South Australian Cricket Association (SACA) have treated their squad member, Mark Cosgrove. For those who aren't up to speed, the SACA, upon Cosgrove's return from his offseason stint in the UK, suspended him for a month for being overweight.
They alleged that he breached his contract by failing to present himself in a satisfactory physical condition in order to play at the best of his ability. For the record, he weighed four kilograms more than he did before he went overseas. Anyway, as part of his suspension, the SACA will not allow him to attend any official training sessions and will not allow him to use any of the facilities at the SACA - including access to dieticians, trainers etc.
I really think the SACA have been extremely insensitive in the way that they have dealt with this. He's only 20 years of age, and they've really humiliated him by making the announcement, and putting out a national press release. He's not in the team, so if they were going to suspend him from the squad, it could have been done a little more discreetly.
Anyway, at the very least, the guy should be offered support and not just cut loose. I mean, Andrew Symonds wasn't cut loose and was offered counselling when he famously didn't present himself in a 'satisfactory physical condition' to play, on the Ashes tour earlier this year. Surely what Cosgrove did wasn't any less professional than what Symonds did the night before an international match
Although Im not obese myself, I think Cosgrove's treatment is just symptomatic of the way that overweight people are put down and sidelined in our community. I mean, is being an additional four kilograms heavier than what he was last season (when he was not reprimanded) really grounds for cutting the guy loose for a month and being so blunt about it?
I like to think, with cricket, it is a sport where you don't necessarily have to have a washboard stomach. Cosgrove hardly has a bigger girth than Boony had, nor Merv. Yes, the game is professional nowadays, but the point is that it didn't stop these chaps from performing at a consistently high level, at the highest level. Surely we can tolerate the odd 'chubster' in our game, or at least not be so intolerant and downright disdainful.