Umpires walk off in Bermuda again
HAMILTON, Bermuda, CMC – Two Barbados-born umpires abandoned a match amid a row over a boundary as fresh controversy hit the game on the island.
Hector Watson and Melvin Best called off Sunday’s Premier Division match between Bailey’s Bay and Willow Cuts at Sea Breeze Oval, after several Bay players showed serious dissent over their decision to allow the boundary, the Royal Gazette newspaper said on Monday.
The game was cut short with Willlow Cuts – who were at the centre of another abandonment two weeks ago – on seven without loss, in reply to Bailey’s Bay’s 240 all out.
The flashpoint came in the first over of Willows Cuts’ innings. A delivery from Kyle Hodsoll brushed batsman Chris Douglas’ pads and was fielded by Burton Outerbridge at long leg.
But square-leg umpire Watson advised his colleague that Outerbridge’s leg was on the boundary rope when he gathered the ball and a four was eventually signalled.
This sparked outrage among Bailey's Bay players, with former team captain Irving Romaine reportedly among those showing dissent, the Gazette said.
Both umpires eventually decided to walk off.
The incident was witnessed by national coach David Moore and Bermuda Cricket Board Vice President Allen Richardson, who tried in vain to get the match restarted after having a brief meeting with the umpires and representatives of both teams.
Neither offered any immediate comment on the latest bout of ill-discipline.
But Bermuda Cricket Umpires Association secretary Richard Austin, who is also Barbadian, said his colleagues will no longer tolerate bad behaviour from players.
“It’s unfortunate. . .having to take this sort of action is not something that we take lightly,” said Austin, adding that he did not have the full facts.
“What we can say is that players must be mindful that the umpires are not there to be the target of any abuse whatsoever. And if the abuse continues and the umpires figure it becomes a direct threat to them then that’s the action they will likely take at any time.”
Sunday’s flare-up came two weeks after Willow Cuts’ match against Devonshire at Devonshire Recreation Club was also abandoned.
Jamaican umpire Lester Harnett called off the match, after colleague Bobby Smith walked off the field, when they were subjected to what he claims were verbal threats stemming from Willow Cuts’ dressing room.
Willow Cuts’ teenaged all-rounder Deunte Darrell, already on probation, was subsequently banned from playing for a year for a string of offences, including showing strong dissent over Harnett’s decision to abandon the match.
Darrell later lost his appeal against the suspension.
Last month veteran Bermuda batsman Lionel Cann quit the remainder of his club side St. David’s matches, after complaining he saw some of his team-mates smoking marijuana in the changing room in front of his 13-year-old son.
St. David’s, who clinched the 50-over league championship on Sunday after thrashing neighbours St. George’s by nine wickets, later identified the culprits and suspended them, as well as making them write an apology to the club.