The Champion of Champions competition, which only returned in 2015, has been scrapped for this season, apparently over a lack of interest.
The Combined Counties confirmed yesterday that the two matches, involving the three counties champions, St David’s, Southampton Rangers and Tuff Dogs, will not be played this season.
“Due to a number of factors and circumstances, the Combined Counties have reluctantly decided to forego this year’s Champion of Champions competition,” the Combined Counties said in a statement.
“In doing so, we are committed to earnestly starting the planning for next year’s competition to ensure that all three counties can showcase their respective talents to all our cricket fans.”
The Bermuda Cricket Board have acted quickly to reschedule the One First Division Twenty20 final between Warwick Workmen’s Club and Flatts Victoria, which will take place at Sea Breeze Oval on Sunday at 11am. That final should have been played last Sunday at Devonshire Recreation Club, but the semi-final between Flatts and Cleveland had to be switched from St John’s Field to Devonshire Rec because the wicket at St John’s was not ready.
This season’s final would have seen an Evening League team competing for the first time, with Tuff Dogs being crowned the Central Counties champions after dethroning Stars.
Terence Corday, the Tuff Dogs captain, said: “Obviously we were looking forward to competing against the other top county teams. If we get the chance to play it next year, then so be it, otherwise we look forward to defending our Central Counties title.”
George Cannonier, the St David’s coach, appeared ambivalent towards the competition. His team reclaimed the Eastern Counties Cup with victory over Cleveland County in the final.
“We don’t mind because football is starting and the guys want to play football,” Cannonier said. “Cricket has gone on long enough.”
Last weekend’s win over St George’s in the One Premier Division Twenty20 competition, which secured St David’s the title, is likely to be Cannonier’s final match as coach of the senior team. Cannonier said he hopes to help coach the junior teams along with Miquita Brangman, Red DeSilva, Ankoma Cannonier and Sammy Robinson.
“My idea of coaching now is to be an administrator and having a staff, bring some professionalism into it,” Cannonier said. “But it is difficult when you are working with amateurs.”
The Champion of Champions competition, which started 40 years ago in 1978 with Flatts the first winners, returned three years ago after being dormant for about ten years.
Three different teams have claimed the title since the competition returned, with Cleveland beating Willow Cuts by 72 runs in the 2015 final before Southampton Rangers won the next year with victory over St David’s. Last year, the title stayed in the Eastern Counties when Bailey’s Bay defeated Western Stars by eight wickets at St John’s Field.
n Flatts scored an eight-wicket victory over Cleveland in their One First Division T20 semi-final on Sunday, dismissing them for 66 in 18.4 overs before scoring 71 for two in 7.5 overs.
Nelson Bascome claimed three for 21 off 3.4 overs to lead the Flatts bowling while Dorneille Farrel took two for eight and Kijuan Franks two for 15.
Opener Regino Smith led the run chase with 45 not out off 25 balls, with three sixes and four fours. Dennis Musson claimed the two Flatts wickets.
In the other semi-final, Warwick Workmen’s Club scored 155 for six and then dismissed Devonshire Rec for 104 to win by 51 runs.
Kyle Swan was high man for Warwick with 52 while Cameron Jeffers scored 37 and McKario Burch 32. Lethland Carr took two for 28 for Devonshire Rec. Jeffers then claimed three for 11.