Caribbean Premier League (CPL) organisers said yesterday they had taken no decision to reschedule the upcoming tournament due to the coronavirus pandemic, but would continue to monitor the “evolving situation” in coming months.
The eighth edition of the domestic Twenty20 tournament is set to bowl off from August 19 to September 26 but the outbreak of the virus has now disrupted most global sporting leagues, forcing postponements and some cancellations.
“CPL has been in constant communication with our medical advisors in recent weeks, as well as speaking with Cricket West Indies about the current situation with regard to cricket around the world, and at present there has been no discussion about moving the event,” a CPL statement said.
“CPL believes it is too early to make such a decision, but this is an evolving situation and we are carefully watching how events unfold in the Caribbean and around the world.”
CPL’s announcement comes following CWI’s decision to suspend all its competitions for 30 days starting from last week, including the last two rounds of its marquee first class championships. While there has been no word on international fixtures, CWI chief executive Johnny Grave recently told CMC Sports that home series against South Africa and New Zealand could also be peril due to the ongoing crisis.
CPL will come at the back end of the home series but organisers said optional dates would be considered in the event changes need to be made. “At present the CPL team are planning for the tournament to take place as scheduled whilst also looking at alternative plans should they be needed,” the statement continued.
“Our thoughts at this time are with the many CPL fans, players and staff from around the world who have been impacted by this crisis and we hope that they and their families stay safe and healthy.”
The coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, has already led to the scrapping of several global tournaments, with organisers of the Indian Premier League — the world’s leading T20 tournament — last week announcing a delay in the original March 29 start until April 15.
There was fresh speculation yesterday that the tournament could be further delayed or rescheduled until year-end. The coronavirus has infected over 372,500 people worldwide and resulted in over 16,000 deaths.