Situated in the North Atlantic Ocean to the north east of Cuba, and north of the British Virgin Islands, lies the self-governing British overseas territory of Bermuda. With its tropical, climate, sandy beaches and clear blue waters, it attracts more than half a million visiting tourists each year.

Bermuda plays host to the primary Royal Navy base located in the western hemisphere, where it was not long before its naval and military personnel introduced and formalised a number of sports, including cricket, football, rugby and tennis, which were popular back home. The first recorded cricket match held in Bermuda was in 1844, and the following year the Bermuda Cricket Club was formed, assisted with the helping hands of British troops.

From time to time, the Bermuda national cricket team played matches against visiting international teams as they travelled between their organised tours of the West Indies. One such fixture held in 1972 against a New Zealand national team, captained by Graham Dowling [born 1937], was even granted first-class status. The match, held in Hamilton, one of the smallest capital cities in the world, was won by New Zealand by an innings and 31 runs.

During a match against Yorkshire during a cricket festival in 1964, the traditionally strict rule which prohibited anyone born outside Yorkshire from representing the ‘White Rose’ county, was temporarily abandoned in order to allow for an eminent ringer, the Barbadian, Gary Sobers [born 1936], to become the first person to turn out for the ‘Tykes’ in several games captained by Brian Close.[1931-2015]. His impact was immediate, as in his initial appearance he returned a score of 117, to dig his team out of a hole as it floundered on 48 for 5. Close summoned up the greatest praise he could possibly muster, when he said, ‘I wish Sobers was a Yorkshireman’.

A further thirty years would elapse before regular tours by West Indian, and other international teams, would become common place. And yet since 2006, after the government of Bermuda proudly announced its intention to provide substantial financial support for the development of its cricket and football teams, Britain’s oldest overseas territory still remains relatively unknown in terms of sporting achievement.

Even the most ardent of cricket fanatics might struggle to name a prominent Bermudian Test and international cricketer. It’s a tough ask, but why not try Dwayne ‘Sluggo’ Leverock for size!

Born in 1971, the mightily built former Bermudian spin bowler, and defender of a copious appetite, appropriately lived above an Indian restaurant, and once self-righteously revealed to a BBC Sport reporter, ‘There’s another one next door too !’

Dwayne weighed in for the 2007 Cricket World Cup in the West Indies at a stout 20 stone [280 pounds–127 kilos], and yet the beefy ‘Sluggo’ was not the heaviest man to ever play international cricket. That dubious record goes to the all-rounder and former Australian captain, Warwick ‘The Big Ship’ Armstrong, [1879-1947], who played 50 Test matches for the ‘Baggy Greens’ between 1902 and 1921, tipped the scales at around 22 stone [308 pounds -140 kilos].

Away from cricket ‘Sluggo’ Leverock was a jailer who drove a prison van and, in all probability, even the most hardened criminals would know how to behave in his presence, while no doubt enjoying his amusing recall of cricketing anecdotes.

‘Sluggo’ Leverock

Built like a bouncer rather than a bowler, the slow .left arm orthodox spinner proved an enormous asset to the Bermuda cricket team, both in terms of wicket-taking and entertainment value.

Leverock represented his country in all eight of its ICC Intercontinental Cup matches. In his first-class losing debut against the USA in Hamilton in 2004, his bowling average from a 16 over spell was 7 wickets at a cost of 57 runs. In the following year, against the Cayman Islands in Toronto, Bermuda declared after posting a first innings score of 387 for 7,  when in the Burmuda attack, the resolute ‘Sluggo’ assembled an overall total of 11 wickets for 72 runs from his 39 over combined spell, ensuring victory by an innings and 105 runs.

His final first-class appearance came in the ICC International Cup against Namibia in the National Stadium, Hamilton, in early September 2008. Namibia won the match by 103 runs, and ‘Sluggo’ bowed out with 3 wickets at a cost of 88 runs, his contribution with the willow also nothing special, just an easily forgotten single run from 12 deliveries.

From 2006 to 2009 the cricketing cop featured in 11 One Day International matches. Making his debut in Bermuda’s first ever ODI against Canada in Port of Spain, where he claimed a solitary wicket in the ‘Gombay Warriors’ three wicket victory, decided after employing the complicated Duckworth-Lewis mathematical method to obtain the result.

Dwayne collected the first ODI five-wicket haul by a Bermudian bowler in 2006, when he opened the bowling in an ICC Intercontinental Cup match against Kenya at the Mombasa Sports Club Ground. No mean feat for a spinner, he scooped up 5 wickets for 53 runs. Sadly the ‘Gombay Warriors’ came up short once again, this time by a margin of 104 runs.

The first of of the right-handed batsman’s two half-centuries for his Country came against the Netherlands in a drawn game in the 2006 ICC Intercontinental Cup, in the South African capital Pretoria. ‘Sluggo’ posted a score of 51, including 8 fours, sharing a 132 run partnership with the left-handed batsman David Hemp [born 1970] from the Glamorgan Free State, who contributed 247 in Bermuda’s first innings total of 620. It is said ‘Sluggo’ enjoyed his time at the crease so much that he expressed dissent when he was given out lbw, and was consequently fined for the action. His second half-century, a score of 52, was again made in a match against the Netherlands in the second innings of the 2007 ICC Intercontinental Cup match in Amstelveen, which the Netherlands won by an innings and 44 runs after knocking up a first innings total of 410.

His final ODI appearance came three years later against the Netherlands in the Group B ICC World Cup Qualifying event in Potchefstroom, South Africa. After setting Bermuda a target of 304 to chase in the 50 over contest, the Netherlands ran out trouble-free winners by 63 runs. In his 10 over spell with the ball ‘Sluggo’ conceded 39 runs and took one wicket, and only contributed 5 runs in his final visit to the crease.

In a warm up game against England in Saint Vincent, in preparation for the 2007 Cricket World Cup, the clumsy looking Leverock collected the wicket of the captain of the 2007-2008 England ODI team, and Durham CCC all-rounder, Paul Collingwood [born 1976], who was drawn forward edging the ball into the safe hands of keeper Dean Minors [born 1970]. Moreover he added to his tally the scalp of the celebrated right-handed South African-born batsman, Kevin Pietersen [born 1980]. Who it is said had been quietly chuckling at some of ’Sluggo’s’ deliveries, but the smile was ultimately wiped from his features when the wily Leverock tempted him out of his crease, the bails whipped off and he was stumped. The England captain, Michael Vaughan [born 1974], praised Leverock’s performance saying,

‘He bowled very well. Any spinner that drags Kevin Pietersen out of his crease and does him in the flight, is a good bowler’.

Predictably it was Sluggo’s imposing 20-stone gargantuan girth the cameras spotlighted, yet England still managed comfortably to find a way around the biggest obstacle in Bermudan cricket, registering a tidy total of 286 runs for the loss of 8 wickets to record a crushing 241 run warm-up win. Subsequently, after disintegrating to a miserable total of 45 all out, Bermuda was labelled rank outsider for the cup.

The England team may well have been as fit as a warehouse full of butcher’s dogs, but were no match for the podgy policeman’s 10 over quality bowling spell of 2 for 32, which resulted in cult following throughout the cricketing world. He told BBC Sport:

‘It was the first time I have played against a team like this. I settled into a rhythm, and when I settled, I took wickets,’

In the second over of the game against India, Leverock took a stunning, diving one-handed slip catch to dismiss Robin Uthappa [born 1985] off the right-arm medium-fast bowling of Malachi Jones [born 1989]. It was Jones’ first ball in World Cup Cricket, and one of the most replayed pieces of sporting action in 2007, triggering seismic celebrations and delighting devotees of cricket across the globe. Leverock also took the wicket of Yuvraj Singh [born 1981], although his 10 over haul at a cost of 96 runs was expensive.

Following a memorable year Dwayne remarked,

A lot of people do recognize me now, which surprised me. I noticed it most coming through Heathrow on our tour of Europe. English people, Indians, Sri Lankans, anyone who knew cricket seemed to recognize me. Quite a few came up and asked for a picture or an autograph, which is a nice feeling’.’

When asked what his personal highlights were for 2007, Dwayne recalled,

‘Obviously the catch was one of my highlights and the two wickets I took against England.’ And on the subject of the two England dismissals, ‘I saw Peterson was trying to come down the wicket and I thought he would toss it up higher and wider. He came down the track, tried to drive, missed and Dean Minors took off the bails. With Collingwood it was just a delivery that pitched on off stump and turned in a bit. I wasn’t trying to do nothing special, just do what I do every week’.

            ‘I heard it was on the back page of every paper in England. I knew I’d done something pretty good but I didn’t expect the coverage to be that huge. It was on various newspaper reviews and the catch was described as the ‘catch of the year’ in CricInfo’.

The Bermuda coach Gus Logie [born 1960], a former West Indies international cricketer, and enthusiastic admirer of Leverock said,

‘He’s big and because of that he attracts a lot of attention, but it does not deter him’.



Dwayne only made two appearances in T20I cricket. His debut against Scotland in Belfast in 2008, when Scotland, with just 14 balls remaining, posted a score of 100 to win by 8 wickets. His last appearance came on the same day against Ireland, which the home side won by 4 runs after settling for a paltry score of 43 for 7, using the Duckworth Lewis method.

Leverock announced his retirement from international cricket in 2009 after Bermuda finished in ninth place ahead of Denmark in the 2009 ICC World Cup Qualifier in South Africa, which resulted in the teams failing to qualify for the 2011 Cricket World Cup, and losing their ODI status.

‘There comes a time in your career when you need to take a step back. You’ve given all you can and your body sometimes tells you that it is time to slow down.’

However, it is unlikely Leverock will be lost to the game entirely as he has plans to go into coaching with the aim of helping the next generation of cricketers.

A keen golfer, in his younger days, Leverock was a hurdler for Bermuda, and once won a silver medal in a Caribbean youth games. He later played as a striker for the Bermudian football team the Zebras, once travelling to England to play football at Boothferry Park against the Hull City Tigers.

Numbered amongst the unlikeliest looking sportsmen, time and again his bulk has overshadowed his indisputable cricketing ability, which ensured his status as Bermuda’s most consistent bowler in limited-over and first-class cricket. But perhaps best remembered for his diving slip catch against India at the 2007 World Cup, and the earth-shattering victory spirit it fostered.

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