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Cricket still eyeing an early May start to new season

Steven Douglas, the Bermuda Cricket Board's cricket chairman and president of the Eastern Counties, says cricket's start is guided by health department guidelines (File photograph by Lawrence Trott)

The Bermuda Cricket Board is hoping for an early May start to the 2021 season, but accepts that, like other sports, decisions will be guided by health department guidelines to do with Covid-19.

Steven Douglas, the board’s cricket chairman, admits that the recent upsurge in cases is cause for concern as cricket tries to plan for a full season after 2020 was restricted to Twenty20 play from August, with Cup Match and the Eastern Counties the greatest casualties on the national sport’s calendar.

“Our plans before football ended was to try to start on May 1, but we are guided by the health department, as we were last year,” Douglas said.

“We still have to look at the rules governing the country right now; that’s where our hands are tied. We are getting ready if it’s an OK. If it is not an OK, then we will again be guided by the health department.”

Like the Bermuda Football Association, which is preparing for World Cup qualifying matches starting tomorrow in Florida against Canada and against Aruba next Tuesday, cricket has international commitments this summer.

On the schedule is the ICC Americas T20 World Cup regional qualifier in Toronto from August 16 to 27 and the Under-19 World Cup Americas Qualifier involving Argentina, Bermuda, Canada and the United States. The matches will be held in the US from August 18 to 25, with the countries battling for one qualifying spot.

The Bermuda senior team will also compete against Hong Kong, Italy, Kenya and Uganda in Jersey in the World Cup Challenge League B from September 1 to 14.

“There are three tournaments that are still on right now, so we still have to prepare the players for those three tournaments,” Douglas said.

“We’ll see what happens with the health department The cricket board is putting the necessary paperwork in to the health department. We are doing our bit.

“We had a meeting on [March 16] so the clubs know what’s going on. We had club reps, youth coaches and senior coaches, a meeting for youth cricket and I gave them an update from the domestic senior side.

“Most of the time was taken up discussing youth cricket.”

Douglas, who wears another hat as president of the Eastern Counties Cricket Association, is also hopeful for a return to that competition this season after the 117-year old competition was scrapped last year for the first time in its history.

The second round of the competition will be held on the same weekend as the Carifta Games, which have been rescheduled to August 13 to 15.

Douglas said there is no chance of the counties dates changing.

“We wish [Carifta] all the best in their event,” he said. “It’s a Caribbean event versus a Bermuda event, and I would encourage everybody to go out there and support them on the Friday and Sunday.”

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Published March 25, 2021 at 8:00 am (Updated March 24, 2021 at 9:12 pm)

Cricket still eyeing an early May start to new season

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