CWI target new year start for Super50
As the region continues to grapple with the effects brought on by the coronavirus pandemic, the Caribbean’s cricket authorities have had to find innovative ways to keep the sport going.
As such, the region’s limited overs competition, the Super50, has been forced to have a new date, according to Cricket West Indies CEO Johnny Grave.
Grave told The Sunday Gleaner that the competition could be moved to a February start date, with the tournament taking a ‘Hybrid’ format compared to the previous years.
Grave explained that the 47th edition of the tournament could revert to only the six regional franchises taking part, which would mean that defending champions, the West Indies Emerging Players, Canada, USA and the Combined Colleges and Campuses would miss out.
With some borders being closed and quarantine restrictions in place due to the pandemic, logistical issues have forced CWI to make the changes; however, those plans are expected to be finalised at a board meeting this week.
The new thrust and approach would be similar to what was undertaken with the Caribbean Premier League, which was held in a biosecure environment in Trinidad recently.
“There are a lot of uncertainties and question marks right now, but at the moment, the medical and operational plan would be to fly everyone into one country and play across two venues,” said Grave.
As it stands, five countries have been earmarked to possibly host the tournament, with Jamaica, Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, St Kitts and Nevis and Trinidad and Tobago all having two international venues.
Last year, the Super50 Tournament was played across two countries, with Trinidad’s Queen’s Park Oval and Brian Lara Academy along with Conaree Sports Club and Warner Park in St Kitts hosting matches.
Grave added that staging the limited-overs tournament in February would mean that the Regional Four-Day Competition would also be adjusted, with that tournament tentatively set to start just before or at the Easter holidays, after the West Indies host Sri Lanka in March.
The CWI official says they will be urging the franchises to, as best as possible, remain active, as his organisation tries to formulate the best possible plan for the return of competitive regional cricket during the global pandemic.
“I am encouraging the franchises to play as much club and inter-squad cricket to give the players as much competitive action as they are medically allowed to. The situation we are faced with is not ideal, but it gives us the time to plan and reflect and review what we are doing. Hopefully, we will come out of it a much stronger and better organisation on the back of it,” said Grave.
Jamaica, who missed out on a semi-final place in last year’s tournament, last won the Super50 Cup back in the 2011-2012 season, when a Man-of-the-Match performance from Nikita Miller saw them winning their seventh title after beating Trinidad and Tobago.