HEAD of the local organising committee for the 2020 Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL) T20 tournament Douglas Camacho, and head of public relations and communications Peter Miller, reiterated the importance of testing players and officials for covid19 before arriving in TT for the annual event.
A Jamaican player, who was set to represent St Kitts and Nevis Patriots, tested positive for the virus. According to the CNC3 newscast on Tuesday, he will be replaced by TT leg spinner Imran Khan.
Jamaica Tallawahs duo Andre McCarthy and Jeavor Royal were exposed to the player who tested positive and will miss the tournament. The pair will be replaced by West Indies Test batsman Jermaine Blackwood and former West Indies Under-19 captain Ramaal Lewis.
On Monday, Jamaica Cricket Association CEO Courtney Francis told the Jamaica Observer the news and it was confirmed by Newsday. Patriots coach Simon Helmot, who is Australian, has also tested positive for the virus.
Camacho, who is also chairman of the Sport Company of TT, said it was a chance that someone would test positive because of the number of people involved.
“Statistically one would expect that if you are trying to bring in a couple hundred people that some might test positive. Hence the CMO (Chief Medical Officer Dr Roshan Parasram) was very clear all along on the guidelines that we will be applying in terms of pre tests so if you test (positive) before then you are out."
Camacho said the people arriving will go into quarantine. “If you come you still have to go through the 14-day quarantine in the bio-bubble, but even within the bio-bubble (there is) no interaction for the first week among the players. Each person will have a separate room and each person will have an opportunity to exercise and train on their own without interacting with others at least for the first seven days as the protocol describes it.”
Camacho, asked if he thinks the CPL could run smoothly, he said “absolutely.”
He said the sporting fans are eager for action. “I think certainly from a sporting point of view the public is anxious. Yes they may not be physically able to go, but just to know it is happening on our shores and people could see it live on television.” No fans are allowed to attend in the tournament that runs from August 18 to September 10, with action scheduled for the Queen's Park Oval in St Clair and the Brian Lara Cricket Academy in Tarouba.
Players started arriving for the CPL on Sunday. Camacho said the remaining players and officials were expected to arrive in Trinidad on Tuesday. Over 250 players and officials will stay at the Hilton Hotel in St Ann’s including players from the Trinbago Knight Riders, Tallawahs, Patriots, Guyana Amazon Warriors, Barbados Tridents and St Lucia Zouks. It is first time that the entire CPL will be played in one country.
Miller, discussing the player testing positive, said that’s why it was so important to test players before arriving in TT.
Miller told Newsday in a Whatsapp message, “Everyone was tested before they left their home country for this very reason, so we could ensure only those free of covid travelled. If you tested positive you could not travel to TT.”