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Fate of First Division season to be decided today

Decision pending: Arnold Manders, the BCB president, has confirmed a final decision regarding the fate of the Twenty20 First Division will be decided by the Executive Board in a meeting today

Arnold Manders has revealed the fate of the Twenty20 First Division season remains uncertain with a final outcome set to be reached by the Bermuda Cricket Board executive today.

The conclusion of the campaign was thrown into serious jeopardy late on Friday evening after the BCB confirmed fixtures scheduled over the weekend had been postponed because of safety concerns amid a continuing spike in Covid-19 cases.

The decision was driven by a Covid-19 case of a player in the Western Stars squad, who had previously appeared in the match against PHC at Sea Breeze Oval on September 5.

As a result, a meeting between the BCB and all First Division club representatives was held on Saturday morning via Zoom, as an opportunity to discuss possible outcomes for the campaign.

However, Manders, president of the BCB, has confirmed to The Royal Gazette that no decision regarding any possible conclusion to the season was discussed at the meeting, with that final resolution now ultimately falling to the Executive Board.

“Nothing regarding the outcome of the season has been determined as yet,” Manders said. “Obviously we knew of one player who tested positive and so the meeting was a case of letting all clubs know what the situation is and to try and get their general thoughts about what they feel is feasible going forward.

“There was no vote taken during the Zoom meeting with clubs regarding what should happen with the season because it was more a case of having a discussion and hearing their thoughts on the situation.

“The general consensus was that most would like to play out the remainder of the season but they all fully understand the difficulty of that and so things need to be worked out.

“Obviously everyone involved would like to see the season finished but the clubs understand that we have to consider the safety of all players, fans, officials and the general public first and foremost.

“The final decision will come down to the Executive Board in a meeting scheduled for Monday.”

The pivotal crux of any final decision rests on the battle for promotion to the Premier Division. Official standings released by the BCB show Western Stars leading the table with 70 points from eight matches, ten points more than Warwick and Cleveland, who have played a game more.

Stars were due to play Warwick in a top-of-the-table clash on Saturday at White Hill Field, before facing Devonshire Rec yesterday, with two wins enough to confirm promotion. Other crucial encounters yesterday would have seen Cleveland face Flatts and Somerset Bridge hosting Warwick.

For the second successive year, a premature end to the campaign looks the most likely outcome with Manders himself admitting any realistic possibility of playing out the remaining fixtures is just unfeasible.

“In my opinion it is almost impossible to be able to finish the season because we have to fit in the four remaining matches in just two weeks and that is difficult situation to be in,” added Manders, who previously stated his belief that the BCB would ultimately be left to decide the promotion outcome prior to Saturday’s meeting.

“However, that is just my opinion and the decision will come down to the Executive Board and all clubs will be informed of what has been decided.

“Once the Executive Board make the final decision we will contact all of the clubs and then release that information. By Tuesday, everyone will know of the final decision.”

• Delray Rawlins fell for just four runs as his Sussex side ended the first day of play against Leicestershire in the LV= County Championship on 310 for four.

Having elected to bat, Sussex openers Ali Orr (40) and captain Tom Haines (71) took the visitors beyond 100 before the former fell at the start of the 25th over, caught off the bowling of Chris Wright, with the innings at 106.

Ben Brown came to the crease, quickly setting into his stride on his way to scoring 111 not out from 185 balls by the close of play. Alongside Haines, the pair added a further 64 runs before the opener was dismissed in the 40th over.

Fynn Hudson-Prentice added just seven runs before being forced to retire through injury five overs later, with Oli Carter returning to the pavilion in the 82nd over having scored 40 before being bowled by Abidine Sakande with the score at 291 for three.

That brought Rawlins to the crease but he lasted only a further five overs, scoring four runs from 20 balls before being caught off the bowling of Wright to fall as the final wicket of the day.

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Published September 13, 2021 at 7:59 am (Updated September 13, 2021 at 7:42 am)

Fate of First Division season to be decided today

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