Cup Match is about Emancipation

Mehluli Sibanda
The Royal Gazette

St George’s Cricket Club president Neil Paynter has confirmed that this year’s Cup Match will not be shown live on television.

Paynter said the match, which will take place at Wellington Oval on August 3 and 4, will be broadcast solely on radio with its presence on television proving detrimental to both clubs in the past.

“As it stands right now, Cup Match will not be televised. It will be on radio but nothing on television,’’ Paynter said.

“St George’s Cricket Club is not in the business of producing television shows. We’ve never put it on television.

“It has been on TV in previous years and sometimes at the expense of both clubs. We always prefer people to come and watch the game live, both clubs always prefer people to come, and we welcome them in the ground.

“There is nothing better than watching anything live, but that is not the reason why it’s not on television, that’s all I am going to say on that.”

When pressed as to the reasons, Paynter said: “St George’s Cricket Club have never said we did not want it on television, all I said is that it’s not being televised.”

In 2021, St George’s made sure Cup Match was televised after the late announcement of the fixture left the club with hardly any sponsors and no TV coverage for the event. Having the match shown on TV is believed to have cost St George’s $90,000 in production costs.

“St George’s paid for it to be on TV in 2021. As it turns out now, there is no television,’’ Paynter said.

“Cup Match is about emancipation and the focus should not be on the game being on television. We should be focusing on the game and the fact that people need to come to Wellington Oval and have a good time.”

HSBC announced their continued sponsorship of Cup Match on Wednesday but their statement made no mention of television broadcasts and there are now less than two weeks for a deal to be finalised.

More than 10,000 fans are expected to flock to Wellington Oval over the two days, with the entry fee set at $25 for adults. Seniors and children aged twelve years and under will pay $15. Tickets are available online with spectators being encouraged to make use of that platform for convenience.

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