Cup Match conduct criticised
Two Cup Match legends say it is time for the clubs to take a stand on bad behaviour by players in the island’s premier sporting event.
Excessive appealing and acts of dissent towards the umpires, most significantly St George’s batsman Allan Douglas Jr knocking a stump out of the ground after being given out on the second day at Wellington Oval, have come under severe scrutiny.
Dean Minors and Dennis Wainwright, both former St George’s wicketkeepers of great repute, have plenty to say on the issues of behaviour and time wasting at Cup Match.
Minors, a member of the Voice of Summer commentary team and president of the Cup Match Former Players/Officials Association, reminds that any show of poor deportment is there for the world to see now that the match is live-streamed.
He said: “The game is televised worldwide, people are taking pictures and posting them and the players have to be very mindful of their behaviour on and off the field.
“Whatever they do can be televised. This should be a warning to the players to be very careful and it is a recommendation before selecting the team that the clubs have a word with the players about the dangers of social media.”
Minors recalls the protocols in place when he played for Bermuda at the highest level. “We were warned prior to the World Cup [in the West Indies in 2007] that any dissent shown to the umpires, we could be in breach of the rules,” he said.
Bermuda is set to host the ICC Americas T20 World Cup Regional Qualifier from August 15 to 25, when players’ deportment will be monitored closely.
Emmerson Carrington and Alex Knight, standing in his first Cup Match, were put under a lot of pressure last Thursday and Friday, and had to contend with long delays while supporters and team-mates came on to the field to celebrate a player reaching a half-century.
There were six fifties over the two days and each celebration, a tradition unique to Cup Match, lasted about seven minutes — still some ways short of the interminably long 12 minutes it took for the field to be cleared when Onias Bascome scored his maiden century in Somerset last year.
“It was more of a party atmosphere than it was about cricket,” Minors said. “People are paying too much money for camps and sponsorship not to get a full day’s cricket or a quality product.
“I congratulate the umpires for two days of being very professional. I don’t think they get the accolades they deserve.”
The umpires’ reports have yet to be received, but it is highly likely that Douglas will be charged with a Level 2 offence for serious dissent towards an umpire’s decision.
“We just have to await the umpires’ report,” Wainwright, who attends Cup Match every year, said. “We are in a discipline mess!
“Behaviour wasn’t as bad this year as I’ve seen in past Cup Matches, but still Cup Match is our premier game. If we don’t stand up as seniors and say openly ‘this is not on’ then it is not going to get any better.
“People take for granted this is the way it is supposed to be. I’m one who will speak out against bad behaviour — if it is wrong, it’s wrong. Let’s work towards cleaning up this game. The onus falls on management; they are the people responsible for the club.”
• Dalin Richardson, of Somerset, became the first reserve to win the Cup Match Safe Hands Awards when he was presented with the award yesterday by Wainwright and Mahesh Reddy, the medical director of Bermuda Healthcare Services.
Richardson took a catch above his head on the mid-wicket boundary to dismiss Onias Bascome on the first day. Richardson was presented with the Cal “Bummy” Symonds plaque.
“Even though the award is not based on the best catch, the best catch is not excluded,” Wainwright said. “It is based on all-round fielding, but the fielding was so poor, with so many catches dropped, that this young man stood out with the judges.”
The award was first introduced in 1998 with Allan Douglas Jr, who held three catches this year, winning it the past three years.
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