Blakeney to be honoured at Cup Match awards
Glenn Blakeney, who died last December aged 45, will be one of four former Cup Match players to be honoured at the Heritage Productions fifteenth annual Emancipation Cup Match awards at Ocean View Golf Club tonight at 7pm.
Blakeney will be honoured along with former Somerset batsmen Gladwin Edness and Gregory Francis, Dexter Smith, of St George’s, and umpire Steven Douglas.
“Normally we don’t honour players posthumously, but in Glenn’s case he was already lined up to be honoured this year,” said Radell Tankard, the director of Heritage Productions.
“We have honoured over 120 former Cup Match players in that time,” Tankard said. “The intent was to try to honour the most senior of the past players before they passed on. This year we have lost Lloyd James, Gladstone “Sad” Brown, Leroy “Tubby” Richardson and Glenn in December.”
Richardson was the oldest surviving Cup Match player before he died in January aged 97.
“Cup Match is a very big thing as we well know, but after the players get off the stage it is almost like they are forgotten,” Tankard said. “We try to at least remember them and thank them for their role in helping to uphold this great classic.”
Blakeney’s Cup Match career spanned 21 years between 1991 and 2012. He is tenth in the batting averages with 621 runs from 20 innings at an average of 34.50 and nineteenth highest run scorer. Blakeney achieved a rare feat in 2002 on the 100th anniversary of Cup Match when he hit the first ball of the match from Corey Hill, his Bailey’s Bay team-mate, for six. Hill said it was a well-kept secret that Blakeney took on the challenge after a dare from Hill just before Cup Match.
“We were all sitting in the changing room after a game when Ricky [Hill] walked in and Damon Edwards said, ‘Who’s the best opening batsman between Ricky Hill and Glenn Blakeney?’,” Hill told The Royal Gazette yesterday.
“So one of the players asked them ‘as opening batsmen, what was your dream?’ They both said at the same time, to hit the first ball of Cup Match for six. Ricky couldn’t do it because he had finished playing so I said ‘Glenn, I open [the bowling] for Somerset, I challenge you’.
“Everybody at Bay knows the story. I had the ball in my hand and thought I could trick him and bowl a yorker or give him the opportunity and maybe he will sky it. I promised him I would bowl short to see if he would take up my challenge. He got inside of it and the next I knew the ball was up against the club! Up to today people still tease me about it.
“I looked at him, he looked at me, he patted the ground with his bat and we had a sniggle, but we never talked about it again.
“None of my Somerset players knew about it. I got the last laugh because I hit the last six to win the game. I think it was off Travis Smith.”
Hill recalls he was also on the opposite team when Blakeney, then playing in the league for St David’s in the same year, scored a massive 303 not out against Bay at Lord’s. The year before he blasted the Willow Cuts bowlers for 245 runs at the same venue, such was his brilliance.
“I bowled ten overs for 90 runs, the most I ever gave up. But he didn’t hit me for a six,” Hill said.
Tickets are available at Brunswick Bakery and Nu Look Barber Shop in the Union Square Mall in Hamilton.
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