The Annual Cup Match Classic is a two-day cricket match which celebrates the abolition of slavery in Bermuda. During the post Emancipation period, former black slaves refused to work on this day, a tradition honored for over 100 years. Instead, they would enjoy a friendly game of cricket, a sport adopted by way of British Garrison soldiers’. While free they still experienced profound segregation, therefore “all-black” cricket clubs (Somerset & St. George’s) exclusively participated in the game each year. In 1902, the recreational games evolved into an organized match, awarding the winner with a silver cup.
The two official public holidays were introduced in 1947 and are observed on the Thursday and Friday closest to August 1st. Emancipation Day, celebrated on the Thursday, honors the end of slavery (August 1st, 1834). The second day of Cup Match, Somers Day, commemorates Admiral Sir George Somers who colonized Bermuda in 1609. Locals traditionally spend the holiday weekend either watching the game, swimming, camping, boating and picnicking.
This graphic shows the winning team, their margin of victory and play location for every year from 1902-2015. Around the outside of the circle are interesting historical records and milestones, for example, longest Cup Match career, most wickets and most catches.
With Thanks To:
Somerset Cricket Club
St. George’s Cricket Club