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Last Updated: Tuesday, 6 March 2007, 19:43 GMT
Burly Leverock hungry for success

By Jamie Lillywhite

Beef Korma.

It's the answer to the question being posed across the cricket world - what is Dwayne Leverock's favourite dish?

LEVEROCK STATS PACK
D Leverock
Born: 14.7.1971, Bermuda
Bowls: Slow left-arm orthodox
Best: 5-53 v Kenya in Mombasa (Nov '06)

The beefy spinner has been besieged by the media since bounding into prominence with his jaunty celebrations in the World Cup warm-up match against England on Monday.

They were reminiscent of scenes from an Eddie Murphy costume comedy. Remember The Nutty Professor?

It is perhaps appropriate that a man with such a healthy appetite should have an Indian restaurant below his house.

"There's another one next door too!" he told BBC Sport.

More wickets and media attention and he may be given an honorary table in both establishments.

Some crafty left-arm spin accounted for two of England's premier batsmen - Kevin Pietersen and Paul Collingwood - in St Vincent, but inevitably it is Leverock's imposing 20-stone frame that the TV cameras have focused on.

"I don't get upset about that, it's what the Lord gave me and I just use it to my advantage," he told BBC Sport.

But having spent much of the day after his wicket-taking exploits talking to the media, is he already tiring of the fascination?

"You've got to enjoy the moment," he said. "It's a great experience but I'm just a humble person that likes to keep my feet on the ground."

Early in my career I was dropped because of my size

Dwayne Leverock

The 35-year-old works as a jailer back home in Bermuda, where presumably even hardened criminals know when to behave themselves, and enjoyed the classic cricketing initiations.

"My uncles were handy players and I took it on board and started to excel. The better I got the more I wanted to keep playing," he recalls.

"I was always a spin bowler, I watched Abdul Qadir, he was a main influence - then Shane Warne early in his career and Muttiah Muralitharan.

"My batting is OK, I have a solid defence but I know I can do a little bit more. My fielding I work hard at, it's something that I look to get stronger and stronger at."

Dwayne Leverock
Leverock dismissed Pietersen and Collingwood to claim 2-32

It is not just cricket that Leverock excels at, having once travelled to England to play football at Hull City with his Bermudian club Zebras, where he was a powerhouse striker.

But with due deference to that clash between the Zebras and the Tigers, Leverock was competing on a bigger sporting stage when he locked horns with Pietersen.

"He was chuckling at certain deliveries, same as (Andrew) Flintoff and (Jamie) Dalrymple," Leverock said of the conversation between the players.

Pietersen wasn't smiling quite so much when he was lured out of his crease by the deceptively wily Leverock and stumped.

"After the match we spoke briefly with Pietersen, people took some photographs of us, then I got some congratulations from Flintoff and Michael Vaughan about how I did."

Having experienced some of the most famously explosive players in the world, Leverock is set to face two more in the form of Sanath Jayasuriya and Sachin Tendulkar when Bermuda face Sri Lanka and India in their group matches.

The gentle giant insists that he will have no special plans as the world waits to see if he can continue his form in the main event.

"I'm just looking to take it one ball at a time. It takes one ball to get a person out, I'm not going to do anything extravagant, I'll just do it to the best of my ability.

"We can give a good showing and give a good account of ourselves, so we feel good at the end of the day - and a few guys can get recognised as really good players."


We asked you for your questions on the 606 messageboards


Here are Dwayne's answers:

Have you ever been left out of a team because of your size? (HuddersfieldFan05)
Early in my career yes I was, by the national team. What I've done is used it to my advantage to train harder and believe I am good enough to be at that level. Once I got through it there was no turning back.

Do you think you can be an influence to larger people in sport? (HuddersfieldFan05)
This shows you that you can compete at any level, and keep your mind at a place where you can say 'I am a person' and believe in yourself and your ability.

Does your mum Allison still work in the canteen? (Bomber, who calls himself an "ex-limey cop")
Ah, Bomber, yes. She has moved on to another canteen. She is a chef. She says hello!

What is your favourite fielding position? In the slips, or on the boundary? (Mikesiva)
Close around the wicket is my forte, I have got good hands.

Which is hardest, driving criminals or bowling to Kevin Pietersen? (Nimanizer)
Bowling to Kevin Pietersen, he's more unorthodox!



SEE ALSO
England bowlers demolish Bermuda
05 Mar 07 |  England
Bermuda - Three to watch
15 Feb 07 |  International Teams
Beware World Cup minnows
04 Mar 07 |  Cricket
World Cup warm-up photos
05 Mar 07 |  Cricket
Cricket World Cup 2007 schedule
20 Jul 05 |  Cricket


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