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The first White man to play Cup Match

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It was Thursday, July 30, 1914. The twelfth year after Cup Match began. Somerset Cricket Club (captain H. Knight) versus St George’s Cricket Club (captain A.C. Smith).

Gerald L. Bean is a lifelong supporter of Cup Match who views himself as a realist, nature boy and independent thinker

The match was played at the Royal Garrison Field in St George’s. There were 3,000 to 4,000 spectators in attendance. Most of them arriving via ferry boats and horse and carriage.

This particular Cup Match was historical and somewhat hysterical in that the history maker was not in any way highlighted, reported or recorded as such. Much to the chagrin of many.

Fredrick "Day" Martin, the first White man to play in Cup Match, in 1914

The first White man to play Cup Match appeared in his white doeskins and light blue and dark blue-striped St George’s Cricket Club blazer. Unbeknown and not known to most of the spectators because of who he was and because of his twelfth-hour inclusion in the team.

In an atmosphere where almost everyone was Coloured (Black), this man would by nature stand out in the crowd. Especially on the field of play. Maybe that is why they called him “Day”. He was the lightest player there.

One can only imagine the chatter and anticipation from the spectators as to what was going on and what would happen next.

Fredrick Henry “Day” Martin was born in St George’s to Elizabeth and Joseph Martin on October 22, 1879.

Fredrick and his brother, Arthur, ran a horse livery where the St George’s Police Club now stands. It was a very lucrative business at the time, as the public buses were horse-drawn.

Day Martin was also an avid cricketer. He was an average batsman and a left-arm fast bowler.

One of his biggest matches was playing for a pick of the All Bermuda XI — all White players from the White clubs — against Australia at the Richmond Cricket Field in Hamilton and hosted by the Hamilton Cricket Club in 1912. It was a very high-profile match with large crowds over two days and many of Bermuda’s businessmen and dignitaries in attendance, including the Governor. The write-up in the daily depicted an atmosphere of the “Other Cup Match”.

He was also a member of St. George’s Cricket Club.

How it all happened

The 1914 Cup Match for St George’s Cricket Club started off in a negative way. For some reason, two of the men selected to play were not available or backed out. They were replaced by A. Richardson and Day Martin.

We all must wonder what a pickle the captain and selectors must have been in to pick a White, 35-year-old Day Martin.

The following contains some excerpts from the 1914 Cup Match, as reported in The Royal Gazette on Saturday, August 1, 1914 on the first day’s play and on Tuesday, August 4, 1914.

Note: D. Martin was the name used on the first day’s report and F. Martin was used on the second day’s report of play by the Gazette.

St George’s batted first. At one point, St George’s were 99 for four and then collapsed all out for 121.

D. Martin came to bat when the score was 106 for eight. He survived an lbw appeal and then hit A. Symons for four on the last ball of the over.

C. Wilson was caught out, bringing the score to 114 for nine. Lunch was called.

Note: Warren Simmons was the most prolific cricketer in Bermuda with the ball and bat.

After lunch, D. Martin and Q. Richardson came to the wicket. Martin made one run in the first over and hit Warren Simmons for a four and a two to put the score at 120 for nine. Richardson was caught out for one the next over. D. Martin finished 11 not out and St George’s 121 all out.

Somerset’s innings began at 2.20pm.

D. Martin relieved H. Tucker of the ball when Somerset were 60 for three. He had J. Fox caught by wicketkeeper Richardson for 16. The score was now 65 for four.

Warren Simmons was attempting a big hit off Martin and was well caught by H. Tucker to make the score 74 for five. Martin then bowled G. Trott with a beauty, and Somerset were 87 for six.

When the score advanced 119 for six, Martin was taken off the ball.

His bowling figures were ten overs, one maiden, three wickets for 42 runs.

He also caught out E. Trott on the fine leg boundary.

The score at the end of play on the first day was 176 for nine.

Second day (as seen in The Royal Gazette on Monday, August 4, 1914)

The match started at 11.30am instead of 11am because the ferry Princess arrived late with the Somerset team.

Somerset boasted a lead of 81 runs in the first innings and bowled out St George’s for 92 runs.

D. Martin, who batted at No 9 in the first innings, was sent in at No 5 in the second as St George’s collapsed to 14 for five.

Somerset needed only 12 runs to win Cup Match.

D. Martin opened the bowling in Somerset’s second innings. They won the Cup Match by ten wickets.

The written commentary of the full Cup Match of 1914 by The Royal Gazette gave much detail to the batting, bowling and fielding of players and teams. Much was said about the expressions and applause of the spectators for good cricket — highlighting almost everything the do with the match


Except the detailed highlights and historic two days of cricket that Fredrick Henry “Day” Martin, the first White man to play Cup Match, had to encounter.

No mention that he was one of the colts in the match. Nothing of how the spectators responded or reacted when he appeared on the field to bat or bowl. Or when he was 11 not out. Or when he took three wickets, including that of Warren Simmons. Or when he caught out Warren Simmons on the fine leg boundary.

Day Martin played one Cup Match, in 1914, and 108 years later, most of us do not know why he is not highlighted in the cricket history books. The media and St George’s Cricket Club have dropped the ball on this man after he played so well for his club, even if he played only because some players became unavailable.

Thank you, Day Martin. You played for us. This is your day.

Gerald L. Bean is a lifelong supporter of Cup Match who views himself as a realist, nature boy and independent thinker

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Published July 27, 2022 at 8:00 am (Updated July 26, 2022 at 3:27 pm)

The first White man to play Cup Match

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