Less than two weeks away from the 2021 Cup Match Classic, St George’s Cricket Club sent out an appeal to help to pull it all together despite the “marked lack of support in private viewing plot bookings and corporate sponsorship”.

That sponsorship includes whose going to pay to have the two-day classic broadcast on local television.

In a statement released last night (July 15), a spokesperson for the club’s Executive Committe said: “This is an appeal to our corporate community and our community at large to get involved and help us.

“And  the “2021 Cup Match Classic may not be broadcast on local television.

“The Executive Committee of the St. George’s Cricket Club is very proud to host the Annual Cup Match Classic this year. However, we would like to inform the public of many factors that have made this return to our beloved annual showcase event an extremely difficult one.

“The social restrictions and protocols related to the Covid-19 global pandemic have created prohibitive conditions for staging large scale sporting events throughout the globe over the last 18 months. This year will therefore represent not only a return to the very best Bermudian holiday event that is staged each year but also a concerted attempt to move our entire society closer to some semblance of normalcy.

“This event is woven into the social fabric of our country. The friendly banter, and build up to the competition seems to put an extra pep in the step of our fellow Bermudians. At a time when there is extra concern around declining emotional health, the buzz of Cup Match would be an uplifting reprieve as we navigate beyond the pandemic.

“We want to commend HSBC Bermuda, the lead sponsor of Cup Match, and the Government of Bermuda for their steadfast efforts to ensure that the 2021 Cup Match Classic would be allowed to happen. We have been working closely with Government on this path toward the return of Cup Match, and they have been accommodating on many levels. Dr Ernest Peets, Minister of Youth, Culture, and Sport, deserves special mention for his tireless determination in this worthy endeavor,” the spokesperson added.

“The difficulties mentioned above have come in the form of a marked lack of support in private viewing plot bookings and corporate sponsorship. Many of our usual sponsors responded to the Somerset Cricket Club’s [SCC] original announcement that they would not be accepting our annual challenge by reallocating their funds to other interests in the belief that there would be no Cup Match for a second consecutive year. This has been the case with several important sponsors, including our team sponsor and our communications sponsor, and has created a financial shortfall.

“Therefore, this is an appeal to our corporate community and our community at large to get involved and help us get our country on the path toward community recovery by partnering with us to stage a high- quality, festive mid-summer event. We still have corporate viewing plots available, and the opportunity to sponsor the team is very much in play at this time. Please contact us at sgcc.cupmatch@gmail.com or romeo.ruddock@gmail.com for information on pricing, location, space, and availability.

“We would also like anyone interested in securing a viewing plot for their family, friends, and ‘bubble’ to contact us as soon as practicable, as we have several 24×24 foot plots still available. We have been graciously allowed to accommodate up to 4000 patrons on each day of Cup Match, and we hope to fill the Wellington Oval with a lively, festive crowd worthy of this magnificent, uniquely Bermudian spectacle.

“This is a SafeKey event, but we have also been cleared to receive patrons who purchase tickets online and can produce a recent negative Covid-19 test result along with a Government-issued picture ID. This will be a requirement for visitors to our island who want to enter this event as well. Tickets can be purchased online at www.gpass.bm. There will be no entry at the gate without a pre-purchased ticket.

“Lastly, we deeply regret to announce that the 2021 Cup Match Classic may not be broadcast on local television, as has been the custom over the last decade or so. This is not a situation that the St. George’s Cricket Club has any control over, and we invite any group with the capacity to broadcast the event to get in contact with us very soon. We are now two weeks away from the return of the Crown Jewel of any Bermudian summer, and we need to rally community support and participation for this occasion to be both what we as a community can enjoy and deserve.”