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After football’s stop-start, Terryn Fray hopes for a full summer

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Terryn Fray, the Bailey's Bay captain, batting against St David's at Lord's in 2018 (File photograph by Lawrence Trott)
Terry Fray, the North Village defender, in action against X-Roads at Bernard Park in 2019 (File photograph by Lawrence Trott)

Two-sport athlete Terryn Fray is hoping that the major interruptions caused to sports by Covid-19 do not carry over into cricket as he looks ahead to a full season with Bailey’s Bay this summer.

Fray is among the many footballers preparing to make the switch to cricket as they are left to wonder what could have been in a football season that was stopped in December and officially called off last weekend. Clubs had voted 11-10 with one abstention not to resume the campaign, but the planned second Special Congress Meeting on Monday to reconsider was cancelled.

“It was a little bit of a let down with the football season not finishing,” said Fray, who took over the captaincy at North Village from Tahj Bell early in the season.

“Clubs had their reasons why they didn’t want to continue, but at Village we were pretty much prepared to restart.

“We had been training regularly since we were able to get back out on the field in small numbers. We were definitely making steps towards our return to the league, [coach Kenny] Thompson had our fitness and ball-working tactics going three nights a week and we would have been ready.”

Village were in mid-table, 11 points behind unbeaten leaders Robin Hood with only eight of the 20 league games played. The situation was worse than the previous season when Village were able to wrap up a ninth league title before the season ended with one round of league games and the FA Cup final between Village and Robin Hood left unplayed.

Now, as clubs switch their attention to the pre-eminent national sport, players will be wondering what will become of that season, which the Bermuda Cricket Board is hoping to start in early May, Covid restrictions permitting.

Fray, the Bay captain and also the Bermuda captain when the country played their last international matches in 2019, has now switched his attention to cricket, hoping for more time out in the middle after just Twenty20 matches were played in a shortened 2020 season.

“I’m hoping we can get a full season in, it’s so unpredictable,” the 29-year-old said. “It’s just a waiting game. There hasn’t been any information since this last update from the cricket board on this May start date.

“We’ll just wait and see how the next couple of weeks go and try to prepare as best we can with the restrictions that are in place now.”

Fray and his Bailey’s Bay team-mates had started training for the season and, like other sports clubs, will now be guided by the new restrictions put in place last weekend by the health department as it pertains to the size of gatherings.

The Department of Youth, Sport and Recreation has mandated that all sports revert to Stage 2 of the Return to Play guidelines as a result of the recent spike in Covid cases. With the football season finishing early, cricket clubs now have more than a month to prepare their wickets for the start of the season.

“In the end I think this is a small benefit for cricket because now the fields that are being used for both sports will have a bit more time to be prepared for the cricket season,” Fray said.

“Normally it’s like that, you go from one sport to the other and they do tend to overlap a bit. For me this will be the second time I’ve had a break going into the cricket season — I did also last year.”

He added: “I’m not too sure of the other teams, but at Bay we’re in the process of redoing our grounds, with Rodney Trott leading that. We should be in good standing come the start of the season.

“Of course, Eastern Counties is at Bay this year. We had a few sinkholes down there with the field being uneven. Rodney has a history of working on a golf course, so he has led that project and had some help along the way.”

“At Bay we’re looking to build on where we left off last year. We had a lot of young guys and we still have a lot of young guys this year in addition to our seniors. It should be a fruitful season for us.”

Bay will play in the final round of the Eastern Counties at the end of August, with Fray also setting his sights on Cup Match with Somerset and international matches with Bermuda this summer.

Fray admits cricket is his preferred sport of the two, although he enjoyed success in both.

“I love to play them both but if I have to choose one right now, it would be cricket,” he said. “Only because I’m involved in cricket at other levels, trying to help out with the kids. The passion is there for both but if I had to choose one it would be cricket.”

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Published March 26, 2021 at 8:00 am (Updated March 25, 2021 at 9:21 pm)

After football’s stop-start, Terryn Fray hopes for a full summer

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