Jamaica Tallawahs players

NEVER A DULL MOMENT: Jamaica Tallawahs players celebrate the fall of a wicket during CPL 2019.

Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley says his government is open to Trinidad hosting the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) T20 competition this year.

The future of the annual, region-wide tournament, scheduled this year for August 19 to September 26, has been cast in doubt by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic that has ground international cricket to a halt.

Media reports last week suggested that CPL organisers were looking at playing the series in T&T in the curent global circumstances. And asked about that possibility at yesterday’s Covid-19 media briefing, PM Rowley said his government had heard from “unoffical sources” that, “they are looking at holding it in Trinidad.”

“We don’t have a proper handle yet but we are cautiously optimistic,” he said.

“If that comes to us from official sources, we have cleared the pathway for that conversation,” he added. However, he warned that any hosting of the tournament would only be facilitated, “under the confines of the the CMO’s guidance.”

“We’d be happy to host it in the confines of what we are doing here, but there are some serious logistical arrangements because we’ll want to preserve our environment and that tournament will involve a number of persons coming into Trinidad and Tobago,” Rowley said.

The Prime Minsiter explained about the logistics.

“Now, if you come into this country, you have to go to quarantine. So until that arrangement changes...if the intention is to have the tournament during the time when coming in means going into quarantine, well then, obviously, we can’t do it. But if the tournament is scheduled for a time when that mandatory quarantine is not on the table then we can do it.”

Meanwhile, Minister of Health Terrence Deyalsingh said the local authorities would be paying attention to how the cricket on the West Indies’ proposed tour of England is played.

“We will use the tour of the West Indies to England to look at the playing conditions. So for instance, you can’t shine the ball with spit again; so we’ll be paying attention to the playing conditions being developed now. This tour of West Indies to England will give us a template to look at to see how we can manage the on-field application of cricket to CPL.”

And on the topic of the Test series between West Indies and England, tentatively scheduled now to begin in the first week in July, Minister of National Security, Stuart Young said the way was being cleared for any Trinidad and Tobago players selected to be able to leave the country despite the borders still remaining closed.

“Minutes to one this morning, the Prime Minister emailed to me a missive from Cricket West Indies...I reached out to the CEO of Cricket West Indies this morning, asking for them to provide us with the details for the Trinidad and Tobago players they want to go on that tour to England and it will be facilitated. We are in that process; that has begun,” Minister Young said yesterday.

According to Cricket West Indies CEO Johnny Grave last week, selected players will assemble in Antigua to board a charted flight to the UK, “the week starting June 8.”

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