OK, so I’m not the biggest cricket fan around, but this talented (albeit rather large) gentleman may well be, literally and metaphorically! Not only is he a fan of cricket, he is an international player…and as the 2007 Cricket World Cup proved, a pretty talented one too! A Bermudian jail officer and international cricketer called Dwayne Leverock demonstrated to the world that you should most definitely NOT judge a book by its cover. With the athleticism of a gymnast, he delivered a stark reminder to the world that BIG MEN CAN JUMP!
You can be big, but athletic too
You’ve only got to look at the World’s Strongest Man competition to realise that some monstrous men can still be agile, VERY powerful, and surprisingly athletic despite their heavy weight and oversized limbs (massive arms, legs, and quite often bellies). Granted, Leverock isn’t a strongman, but at 20 stone he certainly resembles one. Heck, you’d be forgiven for thinking that this guy spent more time at the fast food outlet than on the sports field, training, practicing, refining his skills, except for when he pulled off that infamous diving catch when playing for Bermuda in the 2007 Cricket World Cup:
It is glaringly apparent that despite possessing a large belly, a heavy set frame and a bicep circumference that a bodybuilder would be proud of, Leverick can move! What a guy, and what a celebration, all this on top of him dismissing England’s Kevin Pieterson and Paul Collingwood with his left arm spin bowl in a warm up match prior to this incredible catch. What makes this all the more impressive is that Leverock then went on to win Sports Personality of the Year in Bermuda!
Some might raise the valid argument that he could have been a world great if he had concentrated on losing some weight, I mean imagine what he could do if he’d lost a bit of weight right? Well, not necessarily… you see the reason for his athleticism and ability to pluck a ball out of the air like that is almost certainly due to the time he spent researching the game, practicing it, perfecting his footwork and learning to read the game so that he can get to balls such as that! Maybe if he had spent that time in the gym rather than on the cricket field practicing he wouldn’t have known where to stand when fielding, he wouldn’t have pre-empted the ball coming his way, and wouldn’t have got anywhere near it!
I pose a question, is it better to be the most athletic person in the world with all the pace, agility and overall athleticism, or is it best to be more like Leverock, with the sporting brain, skill and evident athleticism even if he is a little on the heavy side? The answer is of course a mixture of both…and when you mix the above attributes you end up with a Lionel Messi, a Roger Federrer or a Tiger Woods. The biggest shame with all this is that who knows what Leverock could have been if he possessed all the skill he demonstrates, but was built like Christiano Ronaldo…