ALTHOUGH the absence of spectators for this year’s Caribbean Premier League (CPL) T20 tournament serves as a major financial loss to investors, televised and strategically positioned on-field advertising will be used by the Government to market TT during the August 18 to September 12 tourney.
During Saturday’s virtual press conference, by the Ministry of Health, Minister of National Security Stuart Young revealed the Government has capitalised on the competition’s global popularity to showcase TT throughout its duration.
“We managed to negotiate quite good advertising packages being aware that the rest of the world will be looking on at the playing field. We’ve negotiated, on behalf of the Government, advertising packages so TT will be highlighted all over the world during this tournament,” said Young.
Over the past two months, detailed discussions were held between CPL organisers and the Ministry of Sport to ascertain if TT would fulfil its contractual agreement to host the annual competition for a third consecutive year.
Originally, TT was scheduled to host its Trinbago Knight Riders “home” matches alongside the semi-final round and title match. However, due to the covid19 pandemic and closure of the majority of regional borders, travel within the islands has been severely restricted.
In light of limiting travel and physical interaction, TT was chosen to host the tournament in its entirety. The Hilton hotel was selected by CPL organisers and the Ministry of Sport as the only bio-secure environment to house the over 250 arriving foreign cricketers.
It was also agreed upon that visiting players would be tested for coronavirus before they leave their home country. Upon arrival in TT, the players would be tested once more before entering a 14-day quarantine. On the players’ seventh day here, they would be retested and then once more on the 14th day, according to Ministry of Health regulations.
Minister of Health Terrence Deyalsingh added, “What we would be following, as a health perspective, is these players and their entourages will be contained in one location. The chance of spread is virtually eliminated and minimised. It is a made-for-television product and all guidelines for arrivals, venues, activities and equipment are in place.”
Prior to TT’s confirmation as hosts, Deyalsingh revealed his ministry had carefully observed the covid19 protocols and measures implemented by the International Cricket Council, England and Wales Cricket Board and Cricket West Indies at the ongoing three-Test tour.
In this regard, he was satisfied with the precautions put forward by the sports ministry and tournament organisers.
“I want to give the country the assurance that we did pay attention to the protocols being developed by the ICC, ECB and CWI of the tour of WI to England. So far, that seems to have gone off well and now we’re in a position with that learning experience to have the CPL come off here and all the attendant spin-off benefits to the country.”
The health minister confirmed that tight procedures are in place to ensure the players housed at Hilton remain well-protected during their stay, both on and off the field. He also affirmed the Government would not be financing any additional costs to ensure the players’ safety.
“Persons would not be allowed to leave the Hilton hotel. When they’re leaving to go to practice or matches, they will be guided by the Ministry of National Security and the Ministry of Health. We have made sure from a health perspective it is very tight. The CPL is paying for all of this as well. And what this does, it broadcasts to the world as one of the largest international sporting events taking place and all of the good TT is doing,” said Deyalsingh.
Additionally, if any CPL official or athlete is to return a positive covid19 test while in TT, they will be immediately quarantined at either the designated Couva or Caura hospitals.
Chief Medical Officer Roshan Parasram explained, “In terms of treatment within the medical system in TT, if anybody has an acute illness or infectious disease illness, the only two facilities we are able to offer treatment at this point for covid19 are the Couva facility and Caura facility. And it would be available for any positive cases that we have for anyone arriving into the country, regardless of nationality. So those are the areas that we have designated.”