Cricket West Indies’ plans to host the Caribbean Premier League in the midst of novel coronavirus threat have received a big boost. The Government of Trinidad & Tobago, where the West Indies cricket board is aiming to host the league, is in principle “very, very much open” to the idea.
A formal nod, however, may take some time to come.
Trinidad & Tobago’s Sports and Youth Affairs Minister, according to ESPNcricinfo, has told a local radio station that “they wish to hold CPL in Trinidad and Tobago only”. A formal go ahead will though only be given after a green signal from the Ministry of Health.
CPL has submitted a formal proposal to host all the 34 matches this season at two venues – Queen’s Park Oval and the Brian Lara Academy – in Trinidad and Tobago across 25 days. The league was originally scheduled to be play from August 19 to September 26 at six venues in different Caribbean islands.
A formal proposal to conduct at the games across two venues was submitted last week in the presence of Cudjoe, country’s chief medical officer and officials from the Ministry of Health.
“The proposal speaks primarily to the health protocol, and doesn’t cover budget or anything of that sort. I must commend CPL for taking this time out to touch on and examine each and every part of the health protocol – from quarantine period after the players land, as to how they are going to be housed, how they are fed and how to maintain social distancing, even rules as to whether saliva or sweat can be used on the ball – they went into detail,” Cudjoe has reportedly told the radio station.
Without revealing the exact dates, the sports minister also added that the CPL was “recommending mid-August, very early in September, playing games almost every day”.
The CPL had an existing contract with the Trinidad & Tobago Government to host the semi-finals and the final in addition to the five home games of the local franchisee – Shah Rukh Khan co-owned Trinidad Knight Riders.
Despite the extremely positive attitude of the government, CPL 2020 may still not be considered without hurdles. Cudjoe has insisted that the Government would not gamble with the safety of the people at a time when the pandemic has caused close to 400,000 deaths worldwide.
T&T has been among the least affected nations as the COVID-19 spread so far is curtailed to 117 people. Though 8 of them have lost their lives.