St George’s Cricket Club President Neil Paynter is scheduled to hold a news conference at the club at 1pm today to discuss Somerset Cricket Club’s decision not to the east end club’s formal invitation to contest Cup Match this year.

The decision was officially confirmed in a statement earlier this week, even though the club was against participating in the annual classic at the first meeting held two weeks ago.

The statement said Somerset withdrew with a “heavy heart” after “much deliberation”.

Ultimately, they said the lack of cricket and the late start of the league season this year would “impede the integrity” of the annual two-day classic.

The match was cancelled for the first time ever in its 119-year history due to the global COVIC-19 pandemic last year.

St George’s club members were briefed on the club’s preliminary plans for a scaled-down version of Cup Match this year for up to 2,000 spectators per day for an event that attracts more than 10,000 people or more on both days.

A maximum of 2,000 spectators also eliminates the need for the traditional scaffolding, which affects the club’s bottom line in terms of booking camps for the two-day match. 

From an economic point of view, the critics say pulling it off is just not economically viable especially with the Premier’s indication that Cup Match would be 50 percent occupancy at the very least and a SafeKey event.

In other words, anyone in attendance would either have to be immunised or be able to show proof of a negative PCR test within 72 hours of the date of entry with social distancing requirements in accordance with health regulations.

Just how many would bother to attend with all the stipulations required to pull it off may just result in a big ‘no show’.

What St George’s Cricket Club President Neil Paynter has to say about it all – will be known when the news conference gets underway at 1pm later today.