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Posts Tagged ‘dwayne leverock’

If you’ll excuse the pun, it’s fair to say that one of the true giants of Associate cricket has retired in Dwayne Leverock. Sluggo, as he is known, has often been a figure of fun owing to his size, but his talent as a spinner should not be understated. His figures – 34 wickets at 33.02 with an economy of 4.00 in ODIs, 71 wickets at 26.47 in just 15 first-class appearances – are strong, but he will be remembered by most of us outside of Bermuda for his outstanding catch against India in the 2007 World Cup, which you can enjoy again below (with, admittedly, a somewhat questionable soundtrack):

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Afghanistan’s remarkable story will attract most neutral supporters, but the talent of the likes of Hamid Hassan and Mohammad Nabi would command attention regardless of the surrounding circumstances. The step up to this level may cause problems for some of the less experienced members of the squad, but there is sufficient quality in the side to give some of the more established sides something to worry about.

Bermuda Dwayne Leverock, but the side also includes David Hemp (who has captained Glamorgan and toured with England A in the mid-nineties) and young Chris Douglas, who made two half-centuries in three days back in August (69 against Canada and an impressive 53 against the West Indies). Bermuda qualified for the finals last time around when there were five spots available, but they may struggle to claim one of the four places available for 2011.

Denmark will be missing the best-known Danish cricketer in Amjad Khan, now of Kent and England, but have a number of experienced players in their squad (eight of whom played in the last ICC Trophy). Captain Freddie Klokker, a former MCC Young Cricketer, has county experience with Derbyshire and Warwickshire, and carries extra responsibility as both wicketkeeper and opening batsman.

Kenya haven’t had to qualify for a World Cup since the 1999 competition, having made it as far as the World Cup Semi-Final in the period since. Whilst the current side is extremely unlikely to reach those dizzy heights again, Steve Tikolo and Thomas Odoyo are both capable of matchwinning performances. Both are likely to have their fitness severely tested with a potential four games in a single week once the Super Eight stage gets underway.

The Netherlands are often considered to be heavily reliant on their star man Ryan ten Doeschate, so their fans would have been thrilled when Dirk Nannes was included in their squad for this competition, and correspondingly disappointed when he signed for the Dehli Daredevils in the IPL, thus missing the qualifiers. The experienced Edgar Schiferli was the joint-leading wicket-taker in the 2005 ICC Trophy, though, and he can still pose a threat with his medium-fast seam bowling, whilst the batting line-up looks strong.

The UAE were the unlucky team in 2005, just missing out on qualification for the 2007 finals, and fortune also seems to have been unkind to their preparation for this tournament – the side had to cancel a trip to Sri Lanka following events in Lahore. Perhaps more worryingly, captain Khurram Khan was apparently so annoyed at the choice of the squad he is leading that he went as far as writing a newspaper article criticising the selection process (a criticism he later retracted) . Despite this, it would be a surprise if the UAE didn’t make the Super Eight stage at least.

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Cricket isn’t the sport it used to be.

Time was, even the most portly of players could find a place in most international sides (and judging by Jesse Ryder and Dwayne Leverock, many still can), and even chain-smokers were thought to have sufficient physical conditioning to bowl for England .

No longer – it seems it’s no longer OK to be an unfit cricketer. Samit Patel has been dropped by England for the forthcoming One Day matches against the West Indies, owing to ‘unsatisfactory fitness‘.

Where does this leave Rob Key? Joking aside (Key has actually slimmed down considerably since his, ahem, peak), the modern game – especially in its limited-overs variants – makes physical demands of players which were never made of the likes of Gatting or Grace, and there should probably be a minimum fitness requirement, even for spin bowlers.

I hope that this doesn’t herald the end of overweight international cricketers, though. In these difficult times, cricket fans everywhere are in need of a few players with the ‘XXL-factor’. Failing that,  I’ll settle for someone who makes the gulf in class between my own pathetic attempts at cricket and the real thing seem just a little less than it actually is. How else can I rationalise my dreams of taking the wicket that clinches the Ashes, or knocking off the winning runs in the World Cup final?

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8 for 215

How good are Jason Krejza‘s figures in his first Test innings? On one hand, they are the sixth best debut innings bowling figures ever, but on the other they describe the most expensive ever innings for a debut bowler.

So is he the next Australian spin bowling great? Well, perhaps not, but when you consider the options, it looks like he’ll be first in the queue for a little while. The other contenders all have question marks the size of Dwayne Leverock hanging over them.

Certainly, the 44 overs Krejza bowled in the first innings suggest he has the trust of his captain. He may yet bowl Australia to victory.

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Not all countries are automatically invited to the Twenty20 party. Some have to qualify. There are three spots available for Associates in next year’s tournament, including the extra slot which has been created by the non-participation of Zimbabwe. Next weekend, the following teams will try and fill them:

  • Group A features Ireland, Scotland and Bermuda. Ireland should probably top this group, but you can never reckon against the mighty Sluggo.

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As they say, catches win matches. Not all of these did, but they’re definitely worth seeing again.

Of couse, in England, there’s only really one catch that matters, but Paul Collingwood’s acrobatics run it close.

Both of those were examples of spectacular, Gordon Banks-esque reaction dives, but Nathan Astle’s effort on the boundary is more reminiscent of a Baseball outfielder trying to stop a home-run.

A couple more that deserve a mention: Saeed Anwar vs England in 2001, and perhaps the most spectacular catch ever.

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