Dwayne Leverock
where is Dwayne Leverock today (Getty Images)


Just who remembers Dwayne Leverock today and where’s he now?

Like with any World Cup editions, the 2007 edition of Men’s Cricket’s premier ODI event meant different things to different teams.

To Sri Lanka, who made it to the finals for only the second ever occasion, the 2007 World Cup was a huge step forward in their cricket. To Australia, it was their most significant achievement of the year, having lifted the trophy then for a fourth occasion (having won previously in 1987, 1999, 2003). Moreover, the event held in the Caribbean was also a bitter occasion for three of the game’s greatest heroes in Glenn McGrath, Inzamam ul-Haq, and Brian Charles Lara.

Not the ideal swansong for Pakistan’s devoted hero nor a soothing Calypso rhythm for one of Cricket’s greatest batsmen of all time, one reckons McGrath, whose exploits helped Australia, among other compatriots’ deeds, to lift the trophy wouldn’t have complained as such.

Though, was that the only narratives about the World Cup 2007?

To teams like Bermuda, it was a mega occasion, the island nation from the North Atlantic making it to its first-ever world cup back then. And it was precisely the twelfth game of the ninth-ever world cup in the men’s game that turned out to be a significant event in the life of a certain Dwayne Leverock.

Though a contest that brought mixed fortunes to either sides, India registering a massive, colossal 413 run score, aided by a Sehwag and Ganguly special, to Bermuda, it was an occasion where the closely-knit unit demonstrated sparks of brilliance, if only sporadically.

Not just the Cricket world but the world of Hollywood reserves a special regard for the “Dwayne’s” if one may put it that way. The firmament of the game in the Caribbean would appear barren and soulless minus its most important Dwayne, one who sheer athleticism has emerged a champion. In the world of Hollywood, Dwayne refers to a Rock; a great Johnson of his times, a man of passion and adrenaline-pumping action movies.

And in demonstrating that he was perhaps a bit of both, Dwayne Leverock, a name one hadn’t heard of a great deal prior to the match against India, Bermuda birthed a man who perhaps took the catch of the tournament.

What was exemplary in Dwayne Leverock, no Jonty Rhodes or Herschelle Gibbs of fielding was his will and sheer reflexes when he dived full length to his right, taking a one-handed blinder to get rid of the dangerous Robin Uthappa inside the second over of Bermuda’s bowling inning.

At that stage, Port of Spain, usually associated as being the land that birthed the flair of Caribbean cricket became instantly a portrait of daredevil athleticism.

What was rather beautiful and perhaps heartwarming, in the fear of sounding emotional, was that a man no lighter than 127 kilos at that point in time, someone you may not consider nearly fit to appear for a Yo-Yo fitness Test, took the most sensational catch of the match and announced Bermuda on the World Cup stage.

To this day, the image of Leverock suspended in an anti-gravity mode, clutching at thin air has become the poster boy image defining the will to compete and the love for the sport.

A moment extraordinaire in that it immediately made Dwayne Leverock, who we forget was no spring chicken in age, into a household name.

Though, little do we know that the catch that made Dwayne Leverock famous wasn’t entire unanticipated.

Legend has it that the Bermudan legend manufactured the dismissal in a way.

“Before the bowler came in for that over, I told my wicketkeeper that I was going to take a step to my right because I felt something coming. I knew that Robin Uthappa liked to guide the ball down to third man to get off the mark.

I took that step just so I could give myself every opportunity to take a catch. So, I made that movement and then the ball was outside the off-stump. As soon as he flashed, I said: ‘I’m going!”

Fourteen years have passed since that contest, which saw India make light work of Dwayne Leverock’s side and to this day, we aren’t all that clear what became of Leverock and what was his cricket about.

As a matter of fact, little is spared to appreciate the fact that Dwayne Leverock arrived in the game aged already 35, contesting for no more than two years.

In this Rahkeem Cornwall age where powerful sixes, more so since the big Antiguan comes from the land of dash and power it would be easy to presume that Leverock was a big-hitter.

Though, on the contrary, he was a slow-left arm bowler best remembered for miserly spells.

The only contest at the world stage that exposed chinks in his armour was that very contest against India with ‘Dada’ and ‘Viru’ looking in ominous touch, carving 96 off the Bermudan’s spell of ten overs.

Not impressive.

But here’s what and warrants greater appreciation than given.

After playing 32 ODIs, Dwayne Leverock left the game at a fantastic economy of 4 an over. His best figures included a fifer for 53.

Make no mistake though, curbing runs wasn’t something that happened on occasions with the big man wielding the ball.

Perhaps one of Associate Cricket Nations’ proudest achievement happens to be one that is in the lap of Dwayne Leverock.

In his debut game, against Canada, Leverock bowled a full spell of ten overs conceding no more than 14 overs.

No bowler since or before Leverock happened to bowl as many as five maidens in his debut contest. To top it all, Leverock also claimed a wicket in his maiden game.

Not that things changed with time as he got the hang of the game he wasn’t always a natural fit for.

In his final-ever contest, Leverock rose to the occasion, against the Netherlands in April of 2009, he again bowled ten full overs, conceding just 39 runs.

In his cricketing journey, he dismissed famous batsmen like the mighty Chris Gayle, someone with whom he partied hard.

Though, the sport wasn’t and still isn’t his only vocation in life.

In the years after the exit from the international stage, Dwayne Leverock took to golf and has played even with the likes of Kevin Pietersen.

The man recognized in his country as a national hero, which isn’t so hard to understand since, to this day, he’s the one with most wickets in international ODI cricket, Leverock works as a jailor as also a policeman.

He’s ferried-and still does- ferry hardcore criminals around in the island nation. As a law-enforcement worker, he’s contributing once again to a country whose cricketing dream, to make it to the World Cup, he ably contributed to.

Though, to the ever-smiling and forever-affable Bermudan what stings to this day is the way, “They made Associate Nations push back and cut off from the world cup stage.”

As the great man turns 50 having lost neither the vital pounds or the zest for life, happy as he’s always been, perhaps it’s time for the ICC to focus to initiate more inclusive measures so that more Associate Nations can also be involved in top-tier cricket instead of the game limiting itself to being something like a ‘by-invitation only’ entry.

What do you reckon?


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