Panamanian Cricketers Thrilled To Meet Sluggo

October 8, 2023 | 0 Comments

[Written by Patrick Bean]

It is said that pictures say a thousand words and memories last forever, and so it is that the legend of Dwayne [Sluggo] Leverock’s superlative, diving catch and gleeful celebration during the 2007 World Cup in the West Indies lives on in the history of world cricket.

At a time when fitness was increasingly becoming a key focus of players, Leverock stood out as an oddity, weighing in at 280 pounds, but his frame and easygoing manner ensured he attracted a considerable following among fans and players alike.

Leverock’s memorable moment came during Bermuda’s match against India when a young Malachi Jones bowled the second over of the match against opener Robin Uthappa.

Jones’ first delivery landed at length just outside off stump, forcing Uthappa to play a prod that caught the outside edge of the bat. The ball flew well to the right of Leverock at first slip, where the big man, in a moment of athleticism that belied his obvious overweight, threw himself to his right and pulled off a stunning one-handed catch.

Dwayne [Sluggo] Leverock Bermuda Cricket October 2023

Such has been Leverock’s appeal over the years that the burly former all-rounder was mobbed by members of the Panama contingent on Sunday’s final day of the ICC T20 Americas Region final at the National Sports Centre’s North Field.

Several of his Panamanian teammates took turns to have their pictures taken with the gentle giant, who also offered words of encouragement and cricketing advice to the side that had done well to reach the regional final.

“The Panama players were looking for me to come to the games but I was working so I couldn’t make it,” said Leverock, who has added a few more pounds since that magical moment and now has a part-time job as a cricket analyst on local radio. “This was the first free moment I had to come and spend some time with the Panamanian boys, give them some advice and encourage them to keep going.

“Cricket is a team sport, where if you have to push on as a team you can go places. They recognised me through what happened in 2007, but it’s not just about that. As cricketers we’re all one family, so it’s for us to teach, share and encourage each other.

“People taught me and it’s up to me to share my knowledge with others that are coming through in the game, to give them strength to go on and improve their own games and make the overall game better.”

Among Leverock’s admirers was Panama’s middle order batter Mahmud Bhana Jasat, who most remembered the Bermudian from the celebration that ensued following the catch, which saw the fielder set off on a rapturous gallop around the field – shouting and blowing kisses at a enraptured crowd.

“We all remember him from the World Cup, the celebration especially,” said Jasat, who also shared some of the advice offered by the Bermudian.

“He told us that we need to bring our weaknesses to the level of our strengths, and we will use some of what we have learned here when we go to our next tournament in Costa Rica.”

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