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Trio fail to agree on best player award

Host of candidates: Douglas and Tucker are among those who could be named this year’s MVP (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

The most valuable player in this year’s Cup Match has yet to be confirmed days after the annual classic ended in a draw at Somerset Cricket Club.

The MVP is supposed to be determined by the two opposing coaches and third umpire and announced at the conclusion of the two-day match, but this has not yet happened.

“At the end of the game the coaches from both teams and the third umpire deliberate and select the MVP,” Alfred Maybury, the Somerset Cricket Club president, said. “That’s the process. I don’t know the reason why it didn’t happen and is something I will have to look into.”

The delay in announcing the MVP has forced Stevedoring Services, who sponsor the award, to cancel today’s prize giving ceremony.

It is the second straight year that the MVP has not been announced immediately after the end of the game.

Among the strong contenders for this year’s award are Janeiro Tucker and Allan Douglas Jr.

Tucker scored 113 in Somerset’s first innings, becoming the first batsman to score five centuries in Cup Match, while Douglas, the St George’s all-rounder, hammered an aggressive 77 and claimed five for 64.

A longstanding controversy in Cup Match was thought to be resolved in 2014 with the announcement that the two teams’ coaches and the third umpire will select the MVP.

The announcement of Terryn Fray, the Somerset opening batsman, as the Cup Match MVP was made immediately after the match and that was to be the procedure going forward, Maybury said at the time.

“In the past we weren’t following the Cup Match rules,” Maybury said. “The rules are very clear in how the man of the match should be selected and who should do it.”

That practice was abandoned last year after Derrick Brangman, of Somerset, was named MVP more than week after the match ended at Wellington Oval.

In 2013 both clubs named their own MVPs, which was never publicly announced, with Somerset choosing century-maker Tucker and St George’s Rodney Trott.

Controversy also flared in 2002 when both clubs failed to agree on a choice, forcing Camel, then award sponsors, to step in and declare Travis Smith, the late St George’s spinner, as the winner two weeks after the match had ended at Somerset.