Safety of people must come before Cup Match

  • Vashun Blanchette and Neil Paynter, the presidents of Somerset and St George’s Cricket Clubs (File photograph by Lawrence Trott)

    Vashun Blanchette and Neil Paynter, the presidents of Somerset and St George’s Cricket Clubs (File photograph by Lawrence Trott)


Cup Match this year is at the mercy of the coronavirus — but people’s health must come first, the president of Somerset Cricket Club said yesterday.

Vashun Blanchette, whose club is scheduled to host the Annual Classic, insisted the welfare of people on the island and around the world was more important than the game.

He said: “Ultimately we are at the mercy of this global pandemic and definitely that takes priority right now.

“The health and safety of Bermudians and residents of Bermuda is the most important thing at this point in time.

“We are mentally preparing for Cup Match, but we will be guided accordingly by the decision makers.”

He was speaking after David Burt, the Premier, revealed that the worst-case Covid-19 scenario, based on no preventive measures or social-distancing, would have a peak in early June.

He added during a virtual session of the House of Assembly yesterday that a second scenario, based on precautionary measures imposed by the Government, would see a peak in mid September.

Cup Match is scheduled for July 30 and 31.

Mr Blanchette said: “The most important thing right now is the health and safety of everyone in Bermuda and around the globe, by extension.”

Sports fixtures and large gatherings around the world have been suspended, postponed or cancelled because of the threat of virus spread among crowds of people.

The US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention said on its website last month that several factors, including numbers, density and vulnerability of attendees, must be considered before it was decided that events could go ahead.

Thousands of people enjoyed the Cup Match atmosphere at St George’s Cricket Club last August, when the game ended in a draw and Somerset, who won the contest in 2018, retained the trophy.

Neil Paynter, the president of St George’s Cricket Club, declined to comment yesterday.

The Government did not respond to questions on whether the 118-year-old tradition was likely to go ahead.

Lovitta Foggo, the community affairs minister, announced on Wednesday that the Bermuda Day celebrations, including the parade and half-marathon, would not go ahead on May 29 because of the crisis.

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Published Apr 18, 2020 at 8:00 am (Updated Apr 18, 2020 at 8:07 am)

Safety of people must come before Cup Match

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