Women’s championships too vital to cancel – Grave
BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (CMC):
CRICKET WEST Indies (CWI) Chief Executive Johnny Grave says the governing body had gone to great lengths to not scrap the junior, senior and women domestic championships in light of the coronavirus outbreak in the region.
The board announced on Tuesday that it was aborting the two final rounds of the domestic first-class championship, while also cancelling the Regional Under-15s Boys’ Championship and this summer’s Windies Under-15 tour to England.
But it said it would postpone the Women’s Super50 Cup and the inaugural Regional Under-19 Women’s T20 Championship with the hope of staging both tournaments later this year.
“They are very important tournaments, not just in terms of the preparation, but in terms of the preparation for the selection of those respective squads as we look to compete in the World Cups of those events due to take place in the early part of 2021,” Grave said.
The ICC Women’s 50-over World Cup is carded for New Zealand, starting in February next year, along with the inaugural Under-19 Women’s World Cup, scheduled for Bangladesh.
Windies currently lie seventh in the eight-nation ICC Women’s Championship ranking, with the top four gaining automatic qualification to the senior World Cup.
Both domestic women’s tournaments were part of a suite of competitions suspended earlier this month for 30 days as the CWI moved to restrict movement of players and officials, as cases of the coronavirus were reported throughout the region.
Grave said that these two women’s tournaments, along with West Indies high-performance and international preparation training camps would now not be held before May 31.
“Following the advice from our medical advisory committee, we’ve extended the suspension that we announced 10 days ago, which was for an initial 30-day period,” Grave said.
“We’ve now extended that until the end of the May, as well as postponing a number of our tournaments, and we’ve reluctantly had to cancel some as well. We’ve also continued to pause all of our high-performance camps and our international preparation camps until at least May 31 … . We’ll continue to monitor the situation, we’ll continue to have teleconferences with our board of directors and seek the advice of the medical advisory committee as we navigate the organisation through the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.”
The virus has also threatened the men’s international home series against South Africa and New Zealand, scheduled for July and August, along with June’s three-Test tour of England.
There have been over 125 COVID-19 cases reported in the English-speaking Caribbean, including in the major cricket-playing nations of Guyana, Trinidad, Jamaica and Barbados.