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Three promoted as BCB draws stumps on cricket season

Arnold Manders: the BCB president, has confirmed that the 2021 season was ending early because of a recent spike in Covid-19 cases (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

The 2021 cricket season has ended, with the three main promotion contenders in the Twenty20 League, Western Stars, Warwick and Cleveland, all being promoted, the Bermuda Cricket Board president, Arnold Manders, confirmed last night.

The decision to halt the season was made by the board on Monday with the clubs informed of that decision during a Zoom meeting last night with executive director Cal Blankendal and Steven Douglas, the cricket committee chairman.

A recent spike in Covid-19 cases forced the postponement of last weekend’s two rounds of matches on the grounds of safety and now the season, which was set to end this weekend with matches on Saturday and Sunday, has ended early.

“We didn’t take this lightly but we have to think about the safety of the general public because the numbers are going crazy,” Manders told The Royal Gazette.

“It will be three up and two down, so next season we will have seven teams in the Premier Division and seven in the First Division with the Under-19s coming back into the First Division.”

The Premier Division, with one fewer team, managed to complete its schedule on September 5 with St George’s wining the league on net run-rate after a three-way tie with Southampton Rangers and Somerset, while St David’s and Willow Cuts were the two teams relegated.

The season was set to end next weekend with the All-Star matches, but those matches have also been scrapped for safety reasons.

“What we have to fix is putting something in [the regulations] if the season ends prematurely, because we’ve never had that problem before,” the president said.

The Board felt that promotion the three teams was the best decision, with a fourth team, Flatts, 20 points behind Warwick and Cleveland and with just three matches left. The most points they could have finished with was 70, the total Stars had, and with a game in hand.

Stars were the favourites for one of the spots, although they had games against Warwick and Cleveland among their last four games.

“We looked at the options and that was the best one,” Manders said. “The executive was for it and the clubs were the ones who made the recommendations. There were four on the table and that was the best one.”

The board is hoping to return to the 50-overs format as well next season as the Bermuda team prepare for overseas competition in 2022.

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Published September 15, 2021 at 8:12 am (Updated September 15, 2021 at 8:12 am)

Three promoted as BCB draws stumps on cricket season

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