Eastern Counties to go ahead on same dates
A day after news broke that Cup Match would be cancelled for another year, the Eastern Counties Cricket Association confirmed that cricket’s other big event would go ahead this summer as planned.
The Eastern Counties, just two years younger than Cup Match, will now be local cricket’s major event this summer in the absence of Cup Match, with their three rounds of matches scheduled for July 17, August 14 and August 28 at Sea Breeze Oval.
The series, like Cup Match, was cancelled last year because of the global pandemic but all four member clubs are eager to see this prestigious event return in four weeks time.
“The ECCA annual classic plays an important role in preserving and promoting Bermuda’s vibrant and community orientated culture,” said Steven Douglas, the Eastern Counties president.
“The historical legacy of the annual classic, including the sporting challenge between all four clubs, brings Bermudians from all walks of life together each year. The return of the classic is even more important this year, as it will remind us of how important life is and that we cannot take our traditions, cultural experiences and community [sports] based events for granted.”
Douglas added: “As president of the Eastern Counties Cricket Association and on behalf of our member clubs, players, match officials and loyal fans, we wish to thank the following corporate partners for their continued support — John Barritt & Son Ltd, Gosling Brothers Ltd, Digicel Group Bermuda and Stevedoring Services Ltd.
“The Eastern Counties Cricket Association is humbled by the loyalty and friendship shown during the global Covid-19 pandemic and may our mutually beneficial relationships continue, for many years to come.”
Crowd sizes at the Sea Breeze Oval will be smaller than usual because of Covid restrictions, with the ECCA reminding all participants, spectators and match officials that the matches will be guided by regulations issued by the ministries of health and national security.
Further details on the Eastern Counties series will be issued closer to the opening round on July 17 when cup holders St David’s begin the defence of their title against Flatts.
“To me it is county like normal but with a lot more restrictions,” Douglas said. “This is similar to world events, and our government is not going to differ from what is happening in the rest of the world.
“I know it is going to be a smaller crowd, but it is something we have to work with. We’re looking to provide county cup a little different from what we usually have, but it is going to be county cup.”
Cleveland are scheduled to play in second round and hosts Bailey’s Bay in the final.
Douglas emphasised there was no temptation to change the dates as a result of Cup Match being cancelled for a second year.
“That’s what makes [county] what it is, you have to work with your dates,” he said of the three matches, which always occur two weeks before Cup Match, two weeks after Cup Match and two weeks after that.