While a lot of the attention might revolve around his figure, Mark Cosgrove’s performances as a cricketer certainly outweigh the criticism thrown his way.
He started his career with the South Australia Redbacks, and made an immediate impact in the 2005/06 season. A stack of runs in the Pura Cup and ING Cup saw him average over 60 in both competitions, earning him the Bradman Young Cricketer of the Year award.
Cosgrove’s impressive domestic form soon translated into national selection. He was a member of the squad that toured Bangladesh in April 2006, as well as India later in the year.
A fluent 74 on debut helped guide Australia to a nine wicket win, with Cosgrove’s 69 ball knock including seven boundaries and two towering sixes.
The left-hander went on to make 34 against the West Indies, before finishing his career with a disappointing 4 batting down the order against India.
The 2009/10 season would be his last in South Australia, with officials deciding to not renew his contract. It was a strange move, given he had scored over 500 runs in the Shield, and was one of their better performers in the coloured clothes competitions.
South Australia’s loss was Tasmania’s gain, and Cosgrove set about proving his doubters wrong, hitting a competition best 806 runs in the Sheffield Shield.
His form in the 2012/13 Shield was consistent. Stepping up in the absence of Ed Cowan, the nuggety batsman hit three half-centuries in the final four matches, before stroking a valuable 58 in the final.
Interestingly, Cosgrove has played 120 matches in both first-class and 50 over cricket. He has hit 22 centuries in the four day format, and has reached 50 a further 49 times.
He joined the Sydney Thunder in the KFC T20 Big Bash League, but his arrival failed to spark the side into life. A few scratchy starts here and there highlighted a disappointing campaign both for the team, and on a personal level.