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Willow Cuts season opener delayed by nearly a month

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Willow Cuts’ start to the Premier Division 50 Overs League has been delayed nearly a month owing to the unavailability of their home ground at Somerset Cricket Club (File photograph by Blaire Simmons)

Willow Cuts have been hit hardest by the unavailability of their home ground at Somerset Cricket Club.

Cuts’ first two matches of the new Premier Division 50 overs league campaign, against St David’s and landlords Somerset have been postponed, as the pitch at the West End ground will not be ready to host matches until next weekend.

This means coach Dexter Basden’s team will have had to wait nearly a month before finally getting their season up and running when they host champions Bailey’s Bay at Somerset Cricket Club on June 2, having also received a bye in the third round of the competition.

“It’s not ideal, but it is what it is,” Basden told The Royal Gazette.

Somerset Cricket Club president Richard Scott (File photograph)

Richard Scott, the Somerset president, said work to get the pitch back online remains on schedule.

“The Bermuda Cricket Board was notified in March that the Somerset Cricket Club field would not be ready for use until May 19; that remains to be the case,” he added.

“The grounds crew, led by Reid Jones under the management of chairman Wallace Wellman, will have the field ready at that time.”

Asked how has his club’s coaching staff and players reacted to the delayed start to their season, the president added: “The players and coaching staff knew about the opening date during preseason.”

Somerset received a bye in the opening round of the Premier Division 50 overs league and will begin their campaign away to champions Bay at Sea Breeze Oval on May 26.

While Cuts and Somerset’s season remains on hold, St David’s will get theirs under way tomorrow when they host Eastern Counties rivals Bailey’s Bay at Lord’s.

OJ Pitcher (File photograph)

St David’s experienced all-rounder OJ Pitcher says they are excited to get back out in the middle.

“Everybody is upbeat and looking forward to the new season,” he said. “We have things in mind that we definitely want to achieve this year.

“We set our standards high in St David's and the entire community is looking forward to the cricket season.”

The former Bermuda middle-order bat is encouraged by positive vibes flowing among the group in the build-up to the season.

“The training has been going excellent down at St David's,” he said. “We have great numbers in training. This is probably one of the best preseason turnouts we have had in a while, which is great to see.”

St David’s have also added to their squad, having drafted in experienced players such as Dean Stephens from Willow Cuts and Makai Young, from Cleveland.

“It’s been real good vibes under coach Ricky Brangman, who is still on board, and we are definitely looking forward to the season.

“We are hosting Eastern Counties this year and play in the second round, so whoever we play out of Cleveland and Bailey's Bay, we are looking forward to it."

With this year’s 50 overs league to be contested over one round, the pressure is on champions Bay, who cannot afford any more slip-ups after losing their season opener at home to Western Stars last weekend.

Tomorrow’s remaining top-tier match will see Western Stars and St George’s lock horns at Sea Breeze Oval. Cleveland have a bye.

In First Division 50 overs league action, Bermuda Under-19 take on PHC at PHC Field today looking to bounce back from defeat by Devonshire Rec last week.

Tomorrow, Somerset Bridge are pitted against Western Counties rivals Warwick at White Hill Field, and Flatts play Devonshire Rec at Wellington Oval. Southampton Rangers have a bye.

All matches begin at 10.30am.

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Published May 11, 2024 at 7:55 am (Updated May 11, 2024 at 7:38 am)

Willow Cuts season opener delayed by nearly a month

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