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Cup Match plans again at the mercy of Covid

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St George’s Cricket Club president Neil Paynter
St George’s Cricket Club president Neil Paynter

The fate of Cup Match hangs in the balance.

St George’s Cricket Club are scheduled to host the annual two-day classic at Wellington Oval on July 29 and 30. However, preparations have remained in limbo as St George’s and Somerset await guidance and approval from the Government that will determine whether or not the event comes off as planned.

“Right now we are still waiting to see what guidance we can use and if we can have Cup Match,” Neil Paynter, the St George’s president, said.

“We put an application in on April 9 to the Covid-19 sub-committee who vets large events and gives exemptions, etc, and haven’t heard anything back yet. So that’s where we are.

“We’re hoping to put Cup Match on but obviously as time goes on a decision will have to be made whether it’s viable to actually host the event.”

Paynter was unable to confirm exactly when a decision would be made.

“Not at this particular time because we have some meetings where we have to let people know what our deadline is, but it’s not far away,” he said.

“Cup Match is not something that we can put on in a month. It is something that we plan a year in advance, so the closer we get to the date the harder it actually becomes to put on a quality event.

“We have put some timelines in place and just hoping that we can get a decision as to how we can have Cup Match so that we can ensure that the game goes on and that it’s an event that is of quality and doesn’t bring the Cup Match clubs’ reputation into disrepute because we have put on a half-organised event.”

Paynter added: ”It’s still very much in the balance. We would’ve started planning this last August and because of the pandemic we haven’t been able to.

“We have about three different plans in place, but obviously don’t know which one to implement yet because we don’t know what we’re up against.

“We are behind the eight-ball as it is when it comes to how we traditionally would organise an event like Cup Match. We are trying to remain optimistic because we know the general public want it. But at the end of the day we have to ensure that we put on a quality event and if we feel we can’t then we’ll have to make a decision as to how we go.”

Somerset were scheduled to host last summer’s Cup Match in the West End. However, for the first time in its 118-year history the two-day match was cancelled because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

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Published May 18, 2021 at 8:00 am (Updated May 19, 2021 at 8:10 am)

Cup Match plans again at the mercy of Covid

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