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Cup Match was a high point for Gibbons

The death of former umpire and administrator Kent Gibbons has sent shock waves throughout the local cricket community.

Gibbons passed suddenly in the United States last week. He was aged 55.

He became involved in the sport at an early age as a scorer before going on to become a slow left-arm bowler with Hamilton Parish Workman's Club.

After retiring as a player, he joined the Bermuda Cricket Umpires Association in 2002 and stood in many of local cricket's marquee games, including Cup Match and the Eastern Counties Cup. However, Gibbons was not content with limiting himself to the domestic scene, and in 2007 acquired West Indies Cricket Umpires Association certification.

He was then appointed to the ICC Americas Panel in 2009, standing in international fixtures in South America, the US, Canada and Bermuda.

Off the field, Gibbons also served as BCUA treasurer, during which time he spearheaded the association's first long-term sponsorship deal and also worked with the Bermuda Cricket Board to establish a proper payment system for umpires' services.

He also served on the Eastern Counties Cricket Association executive as a club representative for Bailey's Bay Cricket Club.

“First, my condolences to the family and friends of Kent,” said Richard Austin, the retired former umpire and BCUA secretary, from his native home in Barbados.

“News of his death floored me. We had a deep respect and brotherly love for each other that transcended being in the middle.

“Kent wore his heart on his sleeve, and as an umpire it got him into conflict with players and spectators at times over his umpiring decisions. He was a good umpire; he represented the association and, by extension, Bermuda with distinction at home and abroad. Without a doubt being one of the standing umpires for the 2015 Cup Match classic was the high point of his umpiring career.”

Steven Douglas, the Eastern Counties president, described Gibbons as a “diligent hard worker” who will be missed.

“Kent was very instrumental in the Eastern Counties rules being changed to where it is today which mirrors the ICC and everyone else,” said the former BCUA president, who was appointed in January as the BCB's assistant secretary-treasurer.

“On the days of the game, he was one I could count on to be there early in the morning to the do the early shift. He was there like 6.30am to help make sure that the game started and did any role that we wanted him to do for us. He is going to be missed because he was a diligent, hard worker — people like him, we will miss him. On behalf of the Eastern Counties executive members and fraternity, we offer our condolences to his family.”

Lloyd Smith, the BCB president, described Gibbons's passing as a “very sad day” for local cricket.

“Kent was a dedicated and passionate umpire and administrator of our great sport,” Smith said. “But we can't forget the service that he provided to Bailey's Bay Cricket Club as well.

“On behalf of the BCB, I extend our sincerest sympathies to his family and friends. He will be sorely missed.”

Cup Match legend Janeiro Tucker had close ties with Gibbons, not only as longtime co-workers, but also as fellow residents in Hamilton Parish.

“This is a shock to me because Kent was my boy,” Tucker said. “I used to always go up to his house and have a rap with him. I always talked to him about cricket. We had a rivalry, especially when it came to Rangers and Bay. He was always teasing me that Rangers can't beat Bay and vice versa. He was always joking about who was the better team.”

Big miss: Kent Gibbons died suddenly in the US last week

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Published March 10, 2020 at 9:00 am (Updated March 09, 2020 at 9:34 pm)

Cup Match was a high point for Gibbons

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