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Things you do while waiting to give blood

Allan Marshall would like to see limited overs brought into the Annual Classic, taking the draw out of the equation (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)

Dear Sir,

I would like to share a recent experience I had, which demonstrates that even supporters from different teams can come to agreement on an important topic for the benefit of the island.

So, here I go ...

You will know, Mr Editor, that I am retired — well, sort of semi-retired because the wife does put me to work on occasion! (I’m sure you know what I mean.) Anyway, one of the things a lot of us retirees do — at least I hope they do — is donate blood. So off I go to King Edward VII Memorial Hospital to make my deposit this week and as we Bermudians often do, we chat with others in the room doing the same thing. There was a lady ahead of me and already giving blood, and we started chatting about various things.

I asked her what her blood type was, and she gave me a blank stare. Naturally, I gave her a lot of “gas” — for those unaware, that’s an old Bermudian expression for giving someone grief in a funny way — because she didn’t know her blood type!

We had a good laugh about this, along with the nurse on duty. By the way, mine is B+ and my donor companion now knows hers, thanks to the nurse’s intervention. Being curious, the nurse then went on to educate us about the various blood types and what percentage of the population is of one blood type or another, and which type can donate to others and which cannot.

Chinwagging can be most informative, Mr Editor. For example, do you know how long donated blood deposits last? When stored at 6C, our deposits can be stored for 42 days. Another interesting factoid the nurse told us, Mr Editor, concerns blood platelets. Donated blood will have their platelets separated and this procedure is important for providing treatment to cancer patients who undergo chemotherapy because their platelet count drops to very low levels and exposes them to health risks.

Blood platelets would normally last up to seven days when stored in agitators — not the type on various social-media posts, Mr Editor — but the clinic freezes these platelets to get better mileage from them. It was most gratifying to know that our blood donations help a lot of people on island.

We also got talking about good travelling destinations nowadays. I had just returned from a lovely trip to Cambodia with my wife’s side of the family, who were born there, so I regaled them with some of those experiences. Cambodia appears to be on the bucket list of the nurse on duty at the donor clinic, which was kinda cool.

When it came time for my donor companion to exit the scene, the nurse came over to remove the blood bag and put a Band-Aid on the puncture wound in her arm. There was then some discussion about which colour she preferred for her armband that goes over the Band-Aid to keep it in place. My turn was coming up, so I piped up and said blue, as in St George’s colours because they really do need help after recent Cup Match showings.

My donor companion was not as enthusiastic for blue, being a Somerset supporter. Surely, I said, you guys up the West End must be tired of having that cup up there all these past years and, to be frank, I’m a little tired of getting my backside smacked year after year as of late.

We all laughed and then the nurse chimes in and says that the cup is probably all dusty and dirty just sitting on the shelf in their trophy cabinet all these past years! (More laughing.) The Somerset supporter then noted that half of the recent results were draws, so really Somerset didn’t win, but the rules do allow the holder of the cup to keep it when draws occur.

Her comment got me thinking, Mr Editor, so I did some research and she is correct! Thanks to records provided by The Royal Gazette, since 2013 there were ten Cup Match events played (no Cup Match during pandemic year 2020) and the results show five draws and, yup, you guessed it, five victories for Somerset. I did some further digging, Mr Editor, and from 1903 to 2023 the records show 107 matches played, with Somerset winning 43, St George’s winning 39 and, are you ready for this, there were 25 draws!

I could not find any results for the period between 1935 and 1947, so I assume the Second World War years and aftermath interrupted the Cup Match series.

Mr Editor, it was this very topic of Cup Match draws — and the records show almost 25 per cent of Cup Match events since inception resulted in draws — that initiated another conversation with my blood donor companion, and we both concluded that there ought to be a decision at Cup Match each year. The tricky part, of course, is how to get there?

Do we extend the holiday into Saturday and even Sunday? I’m not sure the church community would buy into that idea. Now, Mr Editor, you would know that I was not a cricketer in my younger days, but a footballer — and not a bad one, either — but, like all Bermudians, I’ve got opinions that I have no problem sharing about other sports.

After nattering some ideas back and forth, my donor companion and I settled on the solution that each day of Cup Match ought to be limited-overs for each team; even the nurse agreed! For example, let’s say there are eight-plus hours of play for each day and if those hours can translate to 100 overs being bowled, then each team should have 50 overs to make a score. If a team get out before the 50 overs, so be it. The other team will then go to bat for their 50-overs allotment. Obviously, after the first day, each team will have a score and know what they must do on the Friday. The viewing public could well see batters opening their shoulder blades to hit the big numbers on the second day, which would be very entertaining. Most importantly, and not to be lost in this discussion, after the full overs allotment on the second day a winner would be declared, for sure!

No more draws and there would be lots of excitement, possibly, right down to the last ball! Howzat, Mr Editor, for a solution to energise Cup Match?

Not to be overlooked, and the point I would like to make here, a supporter of Somerset and another of St George’s putting their heads together, with no shouting, name-calling or finger-pointing, to come up with that solution.

Wouldn’t it be nice if our politicians did the same?

Anyway, Mr Editor, I’m sure there will be lots of chatter about the above, but I do hope the two cricket teams and their administrators will think about this change for future Cup Matches. Draws are a bore!


St George’s

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Published May 11, 2024 at 8:00 am (Updated May 10, 2024 at 12:41 pm)

Things you do while waiting to give blood

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