Sat | Mar 28, 2020

Local cricket halted due to coronavirus threat

Published:Friday | March 13, 2020 | 12:32 AMLennox Aldred/Gleaner Writer
Jamaica Scorpions batsman Jermaine Blackwood plays a shot during the team’s second innings of the WICB Four-Day Championships match against the Windward Islands Volcanoes at Sabina Park on Saturday, January 18, 2020.
Jamaica Scorpions batsman Jermaine Blackwood plays a shot during the team’s second innings of the WICB Four-Day Championships match against the Windward Islands Volcanoes at Sabina Park on Saturday, January 18, 2020.

All local cricket activities, including those involving clubs and schools, have been postponed until further notice due to the coronavirus outbreak, according to the Jamaica Cricket Association (JCA) and the Inter-Secondary Schools Association.

The fifth and final round of the JCA Senior Cup has been postponed, along with all games in the Grace Shield and Headley Cup school competitions, which were scheduled for today.

CEO of the JCA Courtney Francis says that the association has also called off all pre-tournament training camps involving the Jamaica women’s cricket team, the Under-19 women’s team, and the national Under-15 team.

“The interests of our athletes, sponsors, partners, staff, and spectators are of primary importance. As a national sporting body, we will support the efforts of the Government, private stakeholders, and all Jamaicans to protect the nation’s health and safety,” said Francis.

The JCA added that it had been in contact with Cricket West Indies and CARICOM heads of government concerning the staging of current or near-future regional tournaments and international series.

The Jamaica Scorpions are scheduled to hosts the Trinidad and Tobago Red Force at Sabina Park from March 26 to 29, and the same venue is set to host two one-day internationals (ODIs) between West Indies Women and South Africa Women on May 30 and June 1.

Monitoring the situation

CEO of Cricket West Indies Johnny Grave says that his organisation will be monitoring the situation and will be making decisions based on reports from its medical panel, lead by Israel Dowlat.

“If the situation escalates, we may ask the T&T association to host the Jamaica game, but as of now, the ODIs against the visiting South Africans are still on as we speak,” said Grave.

Meanwhile, president of the Inter-Secondary Schools Association Keith Wellington says that the association saw it fit to suspend its competitions following the latest decision by the Government to close all schools.

“With schools now closed and the discouragement of public gatherings proposed by the Government, we felt it was best to suspend all our competitions until some semblance of normalcy is returned,” said Wellington.