After Somerset won the 2021 Cup Match Classic yesterday, Neil Paynter, President of the St. George’s Cricket Club, who hosted the two-day cricket event with only six weeks to prepare, spoke first at the closing and prize-giving ceremony.
Mr. Paynter began by thanking everyone, from east to west, from Somerset to St. George’s, for coming out to Cup Match.
“ We put on this event on behalf of all of you,” he said. “ We have been divided so much recently . . . but Cup Match is one thing that brings us all together and I thank everyone for coming out to support their team. The country appreciates you.”
This was Her Excellency the Governor Rena Lalgie’s first-ever Cup Match, and she briefly addressed the crowd.
“ I bet anyone to find somewhere in the world where there is a sporting competition in which most people have to choose a side but still we can unite and emphasize that we are one,” she said. “ I would like to thank St. George’s Cricket Club for hosting us, as well as to the Bermuda Police Service and the Royal Bermuda Regiment for keeping us all in order.”
Even though Somerset won, Somerset Cricket Club President Vashun Blanchette congratulated St.George’s for hosting the event which, despite less than ideal circumstances, was by all means a successful one.
“ There had been a lot of talk about Somerset Cricket Club, but what I will say is that Somerset are the champions,” he said. “ I guess that means we have 365 more days of Str. George’s fans telling us that the Cup is coming back east.”
St. George’s Captain Onias Bascome also acknowledged the hard work that went into hosting the event, this year especially. Mr. Bascome assured his teammates that, even though they did not get the results that they had really hoped for, there were a lot of positives to take from the game and that the team did exceptionally well.
In his victory speech, Somerset Captain Jordan DeSilva acknowledged Mr. Bascome and his accomplishment.
“ This is your team and your club and I have no doubt that St. George’s will strive under your leadership,” Mr. DeSilva told Mr. Bascome. “ We have been playing Cricket together [for many years], and it was a pleasure to be captain with you.”
Mr. Paynter then took the mic again to deliver a final message.
“ The reason why St. George’s decided to put on Cup Match this year was not for financial reasons or for the fact that we could possibly win. We put this on because we felt the country needed it,” he said. “ Today, St. George’s may have come out on the bottom, but we decided
that if we do this right, Bermuda will be the winners . . . Emancipation Day, Mary Prince, this is what we fought for, so do not ever give it up again.”
Mr. Paynter and Governor Lalgie then co-presented the cup to Somerset Captain and Vice-Captain Jordan DeSilva and Terryn Fray. With that, the 2021 Annual Cup Match classic came to a close.
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