Covid-19 may have already disrupted the plans of some teams in the Hero Caribbean Premier League but local organisers expect the show to go on smoothly.
“Definitely, in terms of our preparation for the CPL, we have no issues,” chairman of the Local Organising Committee (LOC) Douglas Camacho told the media yesterday.
The whole issue of the Hilton as a bio-secure bubble, of UWI SPEC as a bio-secure bubble so they (teams) could train without interacting with the public, I think that is well in place,” he said.
On the weekend, the Jamaica Tallawahs were forced to replace Andre McCarthy and Jeavor Royal after they came into contact with another player who tested positive for the virus. That player was reportedly attached to another CPL franchise and has also had to withdraw from the tournament.
Responding to the news, Camacho said: “We anticipated that statistically, one would expect that if you are trying to bring in a couple hundred people that some might test positive, hence the CMO (Dr Roshan Parasram) was very clear all along on the guidelines that would be applying in terms of pre-tests. So, if you test before, well then you’re out; if you come, well you still have to go through the 14-day quarantine in the bio-bubble yes, but even within the bio-bubble, no interaction for the first week among the players.”
And explaining the procedure for incoming players, Camacho added: “Each person would have a separate room and each person would have an opportunity to exercise and train on their own without interaction with others, at least for the first seven days as the protocol describes it.”
And the LOC chairman expressed his confidence in a safe environment for the August 18-September 10 tournament.
“Absolutely,” he said. “Let’s take all the ‘rah, rah’ out of it, the timing of the year when this happens to be happening, I think, from a sporting point of view, the public is anxious. Yes, they may not physically be able to go. But just to know it’s happening on our shores, people will see it live on television; I think it’s going to be a big boon.”
He added also: “The actual grounds themselves are in fantastic condition because of not being heavily used at the moment. So both the Brian Lara Academy down in Tarouba as well as the Queen’s Park Oval and I think the players and the world are anxious, (because) just so little sport is being played live.”
The last batch of players and officials for the tournament was scheduled to arrive yesterday.