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‘Sluggo’ Makes Trip Worthwhile for Panama Cricketers

Memories last for ever and so it is that the lore of Dwayne “Sluggo” Leverock’s diving catch during the 2007 World Cup famously lives on within the annals of world cricket.

Leverock’s famous moment came during Bermuda’s match against India, with a young Malachi Jones bowling the game’s second over against opener Robin Uthappa.

Jones’s first delivery landed at length just outside off stump, with Uthappa forced into 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 produced a moment of atheticism that belied his stature, hurling himself to his right in taking a stunning one-handed snare.

Even as the years have passed such remains the appeal of Leverock that he was mobbed by members of the Panama contingent during the last day of action in the ICC T20 Americas Regional Qualifier at North Field, National Sports Centre.

Several Panamanian teammates, most of East Indian descent or origin, took turns having pictures taken alongside the gentle giant, who also gave words of encouragement and cricketing advice to the squad.

“The Panama players had been looking for me to come to the matches, but I was working, so I was unable to come” said Leverock.

“This was the first spare moment I had to come and spend some time with the Panamanian guys and offer some advice and encourage them to push on.

“I encouraged them to build on what they have learned today and throughout the tournament and just 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 for the celebration that ensued following the catch, which featured the fielder setting off on a gallop around the field and 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.”

Source : Royal Gazette