Modern day cricket is all about high levels of fitness and keeping your body in great shape but that hasn’t always been the case. Here are 15 of the heaviest cricketers of all time.
15 Heaviest Cricket Players of all Time
Ramesh Powar – India
A rotund spinner whose sunglasses also helped him to stand out on the field, Ramesh Powar has since become the coach for the Indian women’s team.
He was a colourful character and many felt he should have played more than two test matches and 31 ODIs.
Inzamam-ul-Haq – Pakistan
Pakistan’s portly captain Inzamam-ul-Haq could probably blame his size for a hilarious hit wicket dismissal in a test against England. He just wasn’t agile enough to get over the stumps as he toppled backwards.
35 international hundreds from Inzamam, however, suggest that the joke may have been on us.
David Boon – Australia
By far the most successful international batter on this list, Australia’s David Boon was also a highly effective short leg fielder. A colossus in more ways than one, it’s said that he famously broke a record for beer drinking on a flight from Australia to England.
His weight certainly wasn’t an issue on the field as Boon scored no fewer than 26 international centuries.
Mike Gatting – England
His nickname was Fat Gatt and even his teammates indulged in plenty of mickey taking where Mike Gatting was concerned. It took him a while to become established in test cricket, but he finished with some healthy statistics.
Gatting scored 11 international hundreds, but lunch was always his favourite part of the game.
Arjuna Ranatunga – Sri Lanka
There’s a famous sledge involving Ian Healey and Arjuna Ranatunga which has gone down in history. It’s not easily repeatable but let’s just say that it relates to the Sri Lankan’s weight.
Ranatunga had the last laugh though – leading Sri Lanka to glory at the 1996 World Cup.
Samit Patel – England
At a time when fitness and nutrition were starting to become vitally important, Samit Patel started to fall foul of England’s regime. It’s a shame because he was a very effective cricketer, particularly in the limited overs formats.
Mark Cosgrove – Australia
Mark Cosgrove won the Bradman award in 2005 as the country’s most promising young cricketer. He was hugely talented but perhaps his size restricted his international career to just three ODIs.
Colin Milburn – England
One of the original heavyweights, Colin Milburn was a solid batter for England, scoring two hundreds in just nine tests. Sadly, it wasn’t his size that ended his career as a car accident meant that he lost the sight in one eye.
Dwayne Leverock – Bermuda
The image of Dwayne Leverock taking a brilliant catch at the 2007 World Cup before crashing to the ground is one to behold. He was a giant of a man and a great character who was good enough to play in 34 internationals for Bermuda.
Rahkeem Cornwall – West Indies
Of all the names on this list, the West Indies’ Rahkeem Cornwall is arguably the least mobile. He sends down his off spin from a couple of paces and can otherwise be seen rooted at first slip.
When he bats, Cornwall is a no-nonsense cricketer who would prefer to send the ball to the boundary rather than run quick singles.
Warwick Armstrong – Australia
Australia’s Warwick Armstrong was known as the ‘Big Ship’ and that tells you everything you need to know about his physique. He wasn’t the most mobile of players and he is likely to have struggled in the modern game.
When Armstrong played between 1902 and 1921, there were fewer concerns about weight, and he was good enough to play in 50 test matches.
Jesse Ryder – New Zealand
It’s a shame that issues off the field dogged Jesse Ryder throughout his career. At the start of T20, he was a perfect batter for the format, but he scored runs in all three forms.
Teammate Adam Parore is alleged to have said that Ryder was ‘too fat’ but he made three test tons and converted one of those into a double century.
Darren Gough – England
England’s Darren Gough didn’t seem to have the build to be a fast bowler. He wasn’t tall and he was one of the heavier players of his generation but that didn’t stop him becoming a legend of the game.
In an era when English cricket was struggling, Gough took 467 international wickets including 229 in test matches where he claimed best figures of 6/42.
W.G. Grace – England
Arguably the best player of his era, it’s easy to forget just how big W.G. Grace was in every sense. He wasn’t the most mobile but, in an age before relay catches and sliding to stop boundaries, he didn’t need to be.
Grace’s statistics are phenomenal: He scored 54,211 first class runs and added 2,809 wickets to prove that size was no barrier between 1869 and 1904.
Merv Hughes – Australia
Big Merv, as he was affectionately known, was a fearsome sight for batters and he came steaming in to bowl. He had an aggressive approach to his game and that bristling moustache was all part of the look.
After a slow start to his international career, Hughes blossomed, taking 212 wickets in just 53 tests with an impressive, best return of 8/87.
As these players proved over the years, being heavy wasn’t necessarily a stumbling block to having a great career as a cricketer. The list includes some very special players and all have performed at international level.
Whether we will see any new faces on the list is debatable: The trend now is for superfit players with slimmer physiques and that may count against those with a heavier build in the future.