Western Counties makes an anticipated return to play
The first county series of the season will begin on Saturday when champions Warwick Workmen’s Club begin the defence of their title against Somerset Bridge at White Hill Field.
Warwick ended the 2019 series as champions after then holders Southampton Rangers had a request to have the match postponed turned down by the Western Counties because they had rive players playing for Bermuda against Canada the same day in the ICC Americas T20 World Cup qualifier at White Hill Field.
With last year’s series cancelled because of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Western Counties Cricket Association, is eager to resume the series. This year’s four matches will be played at White Hill.
“After missing out on a series in 2020, the Western Counties Cricket Association is keen for the 2021 series to be successful and thrilling for all,” the counties said.
“The WCCA has been in existence for more than 50 years and this will signal the return of Western Counties to the White Hill field facility. The Somerset Bridge family looks forward to hosting this year’s competition.”
The Western Counties is the second oldest county behind the Eastern Counties which is 117 years old this year. The idea of a Western Counties cricket competition came about in 1962, involving four charter clubs, Warwick Workmen’s, Southampton Rangers, Somerset Bridge and Willow Cuts.
The first matches were played in 1963 with Willow Cuts Cricket Club the first champions of the Warren Simmons Cup which was played for on an annual basis.
Initially, all matches were played on Thursdays at the home field of the champions.
“These matches became an annual event and grew into not only a sporting event but created a community atmosphere with food stalls and other recreational activities,” the counties said.
“We encourage the community to come out and join us in cheering on their favourite Western Counties Cricket Association team."
Teresa Burrows, the president of the Western Counties, added: “We are excited to have this year’s series and I would like to wish all the member clubs the best of luck during the 2021 series.
“Western Counties Cricket Association would also like to send our heartfelt condolences to the Eastern Counties Cricket Association, Cleveland County Cricket Club and family of Carlton Smith.”
The winners of Saturday’s first round match will meet PHC in the second round the following weekend. The third round will involve Willow Cuts on August 7 before Southampton Rangers meet the winners in the final on August 21.
Admission to the game is $10, with a $5 fee for seniors. children under 12 are admitted free. All games start at 11am.
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