Negative second tests pave way for CPL
PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad (CMC):
Caribbean Premier League (CPL) organisers have confirmed that all 162 persons who arrived in Trinidad last week for the tournament have returned negative results in the second round of COVID-19 testing, paving the way for team practice sessions to begin in earnest.
The players, staff and administrators all tested negative on arrival two Mondays ago and have been in quarantine at the official tournament hotel ever since, as per the government-approved health protocols.
Testing was also conducted prior to members of the contingent leaving their respective jurisdictions.
Michael Hall, the tournament operations director, said the latest results now provided the platform for the six-team championship to proceed as planned, starting next Tuesday.
“The rigorous testing that we did before people travelled, along with other protocols we put in place in conjunction with the Ministry of Health and the CPL’s medical advisory committee, have put us in a fantastic place,” Hall said.
“However, this is just the start of the process and we will continue to be vigilant as we look to put on a successful tournament. CPL would like to thank all members of the cohort for working so hard to get us to this position.”
Six teams – reigning champions Barbados Tridents, last year’s losing finalists Guyana Amazon Warriors, along with hosts Trinbago Knight Riders, Jamaica Tallawahs, St Kitts and Nevis Patriots and St Lucia Zouks – are all poised to clash over 33 games in the August 18 to September 10 tournament.
And Hall said with just days left before the start, teams had begun official practice sessions in a biosecure environment at the UWI St Augustine campus.
“We have created a separate secure environment based on protocols established by our medical committee and approved by the Ministry of Health,” the Jamaican said.
For the first time this year, the CPL is being staged in one country and behind closed doors because of the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has forced the cancellation of all other international cricket in the Caribbean.
The tournament will be played at Queen’s Park Oval in the capital and the Brian Lara Stadium in Couva, central Trinidad.
And while the build up has been relatively smooth, Hall reiterated that success would continue to be defined by attaining specific targets as the tournament progresses.
“We have to measure our success in staging this year’s tournament as we pass certain milestones,” Hall said.
“Obviously, the first hurdle that we had to cross was getting everyone here and we’re grateful to the government of Trinidad and Tobago for accepting our proposal, and we’ve worked very hard with the authorities here to put everything in place that would keep everyone safe.
“It’s been a series … of bridges that we’ve had to cross. These are unchartered waters; nobody has ever tried to do this in the Caribbean before. We are the first franchise league that will be trying to put on a tournament in this strange time, but we have a great team. It’s a small team, but it’s a dedicated team.
“Everyone is pulling together to make this thing happen, because I think it’s going to bear a great reflection on the Caribbean and on Trinidad and Tobago and the tournament if we manage to pull it off.”