With the 2019 edition of the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup set to begin on May 30, we look back at the most memorable moments from the tournament’s four-decade-long history. You can read the entire series here.
Moment No 9
This edition of the World Cup will have no minnows. No chance for the rank outsiders to take on the giants of the game. No chance of an upset. Some might say it is a good thing, there are too many easy games for the big teams. But others might point to the little moments of magic and unexpected joy that only the smaller teams can conjure up.
And if one ever wants an example, Bermuda’s Dwayne Leverock can ride or to put it more accurately, dive to the rescue.
Coming into the second match of the 2007 World Cup, Bermuda [a country with a population of just 60,000] faced India – a team expected to go deep in the competition [that they didn’t, doesn’t matter]. They were only expected to help India get some practice.
But for a moment, that was all forgotten.
Bowling first, Bermuda needed to take quick wickets and 17-year-old Malachi Jones came on for the second over of the innings. As he ran in to bowl to Robin Uthappa, most at the ground were watching with a fair degree of disinterest. His delivery was shortish and a couple of feet wide of off-stump. Uthappa, looking to get going early, went for the cut shot.
But instead of connecting with the middle of the bat, Uthappa got a thick edge. As he turned to follow the ball, he saw just one man waiting in the slip cordon. Leverock had been in the news for his weight [20 stone] and his job [a jailor] but he was primarily in the slips because you simply couldn’t hide him in the field.
But as the ball flew towards Leverock, he kept his eyes on it and dived to his right... extending his right hand in the direction of the ball. The ball went straight in and was as clean a catch as one would ever see. And that is when pandemonium struck.
Leverock set off for a run that would do Imran Tahir proud. He brought out the moves. Blew kisses to the adoring fans. He smiled, in disbelief, and the world smiled with him.
“The fridge is opened,” said David Lloyd on commentary. “He’s flown like a gazelle! I can’t believe it, a brilliant catch!
“The earth shook!”
Bermuda’s cricket team hasn’t quite managed to build on that moment but Leverock’s catch will forever be their stamp on cricket’s biggest tournament.