Ambrose: Celebrate spirit of Cup Match

  • Curtly Ambrose, right, shares a joke with former Bermuda captain Irvine Romaine during a visit to the island in 2007

Curtly Ambrose, the West Indies legend, has expressed his sympathy over the historic cancellation of this year’s Cup Match at Somerset Cricket Club.

The annual two-day spectacle was cancelled for the first time in its 118-year history because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

In a short video posted on social media, Ambrose said: “Premier Burt [David Burt], Minister Foggo [Sports Minister Lovitta Foggo] and the people of Bermuda, while there is sadness from this year’s Cup Match game cancellation my friends at Colonial and I want to express our solidarity with you.”

He added: “Many of you will celebrate the true spirit of Cup Match even in these challenging times. Happy Emancipation Day and Mary Prince Day.”

Ambrose is regarded as one of the greatest fast bowlers of all time.

The 6ft 8in Antiguan took 405 Test wickets at an average of 20.99 and topped the ICC Player Rankings for much of his career to be rated the best bowler in the world.

In response to Ambrose’s kind gesture, Vashun Blanchette, the Somerset president, said: “We appreciate the thoughtful gesture and kind words from a legend of cricket.

“It shows the international appeal of the two-day classic from a sporting and cultural perspective.”

Champions Somerset were scheduled to host Cup Match July 30 and 31.

Since the most popular sporting event in Bermuda was founded in 1902, it has carried on regardless despite the imposing presence of Spanish flu and two world wars — but the tsunami that has been the novel coronavirus ultimately proved too much to resist.

The decision was taken by cup-holders Somerset after an executive meeting last month that brought to an end weeks of anxiety.