By CONRAD SUTCLIFFE
ORGANISERS of the Brockman Cup are confident a switch to Sunday afternoons will get the competition on after all this season.
When recreational cricket was banned due to Covid-19 crisis there were fears the historic evening cricket tournament would be cancelled for the first time since 1941 when the Second World War got in the way.
Wisely, the Brockman Cup committee adopted a wait-and-see position and postponed rather than scrapped the 20-over tournament, which was the first of its kind in the country when launched in 1933.
At a committee meeting earlier this week to discuss the planned lifting of the cricket ban later this month, it was decided to offer clubs the chance to play the tournament on Sunday afternoons.
John Webber, the Brockman Cup secretary, said a seven-Sunday window had been opened to get the games on.
“There are gaps between all the rounds which mean if the we do get any bad weather there is the chance to rearrange games,” said Webber.
“Within a day of letting all 13 competing clubs know what we intend to do, four of them came straight back confirming their entries.
“The draw we made at the annual meeting before Christmas is still relevant and if anyone drops out it will just mean giving the other side a bye.”
August 9 is the date for first-round matches – weather permitting – with round two a fortnight later on August 23.
Organisers had planned to play both semi-finals and the final at Torquay Recreation Ground on a festival day on September 13, but fears over diminshing light have prompted a re-think.
Paignton CC will be the venue for one semi-final and Torquay CC the other. Both semi-finals will start at 11am. The final remains at Torquay (3pm) where it has been played for more than 75 years .
“Every final since 1933 has been played at the Recreation Ground and it would be a shame to break that tradition after so many years," said Webber.”
Traditional it might be but the Brockman Cup has moved with the times by attracting a sponsor for the first time in its history.
Valeport, the marine electronics manufacturer based in Totnes, has agreed a five-year deal to sponsor the competition.
And in another concession to the march of time, Brockman Cup results will be submitted by clubs using the ECB’s play-cricket platform from this season onwards. Previously, a rota of committeeman attended every game and copied out scores longhand then posted them to the competition secretary.
First round (Sunday, August 9): Shaldon Optimists II v Lustleigh (2pm); Stokeinteignhead v Torquay II (2pm); Ipplepen II v Chelston & Kingskerswell (2pm); Stoke Gabriel II v Abbotskerswell (11am); South Devon II v Bovey Tracey III (2pm). Byes: Babbacombe, Barton, Paignton III.
Second round (Sunday, August 23): Bovey Tracey III v Ipplepen Barton II v Torquay II; Abbotskerswell II v Paignton; Babbacombe II v Lustleigh.
Finals day, Sunday, September 13:(Semi-finals at Paignton (11am) and Torquay (11am); final at Torquay (3pm). Reserve date: Sunday, September 20.
Click here for all the Play-Cricket scorecards from the 2020 Brockman Cup