Flashes in the World Cup pan
The 2007 World Cup has not yet begun, but already the first star of the tournament has been born. Bermuda's Dwayne Leverock demonstrated that a 19stone frame need not be a barrier to success, by taking 2 for 32 in ten probing overs against England at St Vincent this week. Here, Cricinfo recalls 11 other cameo World Cup appearances
Don Pringle - East Africa 1975
A landscape consultant who moved to Kenya in the late 1950s, Don Pringle's World Cup career was a cameo in hindsight. He was 43 when East Africa was invited to play in the inaugural World Cup in 1975, he played in just two matches, went wicketless in both, and sadly died in a car crash in Nairobi only four months later, having just picked up 6 for 16 in a club match. However, he earned a posthumous place in history in October 1987, when his son, Derek, took the field for England against West Indies at Gujranwala. Pringle Jr's first outing was even less successful than his father's - he was spanked for 83 runs in 10 wicketless overs, which was (for four days) the most expensive analysis in World Cup history. But he bounced back in fine style, and at the next tournament in 1991-92 he took 3 for 22 in the final against Pakistan at Melbourne ... only for Wasim Akram to upstage him in the second innings and snatch the trophy from England's grasp.
Duncan Fletcher - Zimbabwe 1983
As England's coach since 1999, Fletcher's unashamed adoration of "bits-and-pieces" allrounders has attracted its fair share of criticism. But as they say, it is better the devil you know, and in Fletcher's case, he has first-hand knowledge of how single-mindedness allied to a modicum of skill can land the biggest prizes. At the age of 34, he captained Zimbabwe in their very first international fixture, against Australia at the 1983 World Cup, and starred with both bat and ball to secure one of the biggest upsets of all time. With his side in some strife at 94 for 5, Fletcher guided the tail with an unbeaten 69 and then, defending a decent total of 239, grabbed each of the first four wickets in a probing 11-over spell of medium pace. Despite a brisk half-century from Rod Marsh, Australia fell 13 runs short. Fletcher meanwhile added an unbeaten 71 in Zimbabwe's third match, against the favourites West Indies, but he was unable to secure another victory.
Tariq Iqbal - Kenya 1996
Portly and bespectacled, and comically inept with the gloves, Tariq Iqbal's claim to eternal fame was the catch that dismissed Brian Lara at Pune in March 1996, as Kenya produced a scarcely credible victory over West Indies. The Guardian noted that Iqbal was "wearing a blue headband and a double chin", and added that he had dropped so many deliveries and conceded so many byes that his own fielders had resorted to laughter rather than fury. However, he got the one that mattered right. Lara, in a curiously frenzied assault, launched into a back-foot smear and Iqbal somehow clung onto a thick edge "The ball sank somewhere into his nether regions," reported the Daily Telegraph, "and the gloves clutched desperately, trying to locate it. Then, glory be, it reappeared in his hands and was raised aloft in triumph and relief."
Click here for video (dismissal at 5mins30).
Gavin Hamilton - Scotland 1999
It is a measure of England's ineptitude at the 1999 World Cup that their leading runscorer was in fact playing for the old enemy, Scotland. Gavin Hamilton's England career was brief and unfulfilling. In his solitary Test at Johannesburg in 1999-2000, he went wicketless and bagged a pair. But dressed in the St Andrew's Saltire, he was a man transformed, as he showed in his country's last World Cup campaign with 217 runs at 54.25, comfortably beating Nasser Hussain's England tally of 194 in the same number of matches. Hamilton was unable to propel Scotland to victory at any stage, but having launched his campaign with a composed 34 against the eventual champions, Australia, his personal zenith came against Pakistan at Chester-le-Street. He took 2 for 36 in ten tidy overs to restrict a powerful batting side to 261, then - with his team in disarray at 19 for 5 courtesy of Wasim Akram and Shoaib Akhtar - he salvaged some pride with a gutsy 76.
John Davison - Canada 2003
An Aussie offspinner with a shortlived career for Victoria and South Australia, John Davison was born in British Colombia, and propelled the country of his birth into World Cup folklore at Centurion in 2003 with an astonishing onslaught against a stunned West Indian team. An average of 8.15 from 42 innings for Victoria, and an average batting position of No. 9, gave no clue as to the mayhem that he was capable of unleashing, especially as his previous three innings in the tournament had yielded just 39 runs. His half-century arrived from just 30 deliveries, with six fours and three sixes, his century from 67 - the fastest in World Cup history - and it was completed with his sixth six, a mighty swipe over long-on off Merv Dillon, in just the 19th over. Canada at that stage were 140 for 1, a competitive Twenty20 total, but sadly Davison's dismissal - to a remarkable back-pedalling pluck from Vasbert Drakes - signalled the end of the ride. Brian Lara, Wavell Hinds and Ramnaresh Sarwan hunted down a target of 203 in just 20.3 overs. Nevertheless, the day belonged to Davison. "I guess playing for Canada gives me opportunities that I wouldn't really get in Australia," he demurred afterwards. "Like opening the batting for example."
Click here to see footage of his innings.
Austin Codrington - Canada 2003
Canada had not featured in a World Cup since 1979, and back then their claim to fame had been a total of 45 against England at Old Trafford - the lowest score in the competition's history. Twenty-four years later, they atoned for that indignity at the very first attempt, with a memorable triumph against the Test fledgings, Bangladesh. Their hero on the night was Austin Codrington, a dreadlocked plumber with an open-chested action who took advantage of some uneasy batting conditions under the Durban floodlights to take 5 for 27 in nine immaculate overs. Chasing 181 for victory, Bangladesh were bundled out for 120. Admittedly, Canada reverted to type eight days later, when they collapsed to a new record-low of 36 against Sri Lanka. But it no longer seemed to matter.
Collins Obuya - Kenya 2003
Everyone loves a legspinner, especially a matchwinning underdog. Collins Obuya, the youngest member of the Kenyan clan that includes Kennedy Otieno and David Obuya, became a national hero and the toast of the 2003 World Cup when, in a performance that would have made the absent Shane Warne proud, he bowled his team all the way to the semi-finals. His finest hour came in the group stages at Nairobi, when he took 5 for 24 (and chipped in with a handy unbeaten 13) to deliver the victory that toppled Sri Lanka. His reward, among other accolades, was a one-year contract with Warwickshire, but it did not prove to be a fruitful season, and after he was ruled out of the 2004 Champions Trophy with appenditicis, his career went into freefall. In 24 subsequent ODIs, he has taken just six wickets.
Aasif Karim, Kenya 2003
Kenya's captain at the 1999 World Cup (after being ever-present in their previous 25 ODIs) Karim picked up a solitary wicket with his left-arm tweakers and then retired immediately afterwards to expand his insurance business. For four years he hardly touched bat or ball, as his waistline expanded with every new client he signed up. But then, all of a sudden, he was thrust back into the frontline of Kenyan cricket, and provided some much-needed experience as vertigo threatened to set in for the 2003 over-achievers. Against Australia in an otherwise meaningless Super Six contest (both sides were already into the semis), he bamboozled Ricky Ponting and Co. with a surreal spell of 8.2-6-7-3. He never took another international wicket.
Andrew Miller is UK editor of Cricinfo