THE PRIME Minister said the recent hosting of the Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL) T20 tournament was a template that can be followed, but people must be disciplined and listen to advice which would allow events and businesses to run smoothly.
Dr Rowley was speaking at a covid19 media conference at the Diplomatic Centre in St Ann’s, on Saturday.
The entire CPL was held in Trinidad from August 18 to September 10 with matches played at the Brian Lara Cricket Academy in Tarouba and at the Queen’s Park Oval in St Clair.
Rowley said, “The best positivity we’ve had (and) I must, at this stage, congratulate our cricketers TKR (Trinbago Knight Riders) and all our regional cricketers and all our guests who came and who proved us correct that we could have in a pandemic create the health environment, which is loosely called a bubble, so that the business of international professional cricket could have taken place.”
TKR won their fourth CPL title with an eight-wicket win over St Lucia Zouks, on Thursday.
Over 250 players and officials stayed at the Hilton Hotel in St Ann’s. All the players and officials tested negative for the virus before the tournament bowled off. It was the first time the CPL was played in one country.
Rowley said the CPL has proven that events can be held during the pandemic once steps are put in place to make it safe. “I think we should take comfort from that saying that even though the virus is there, even though the difficulty and the threats are there, it is possible to construct an environment in which we can continue to do the things that we normally would do.”
The players were only allowed to leave the hotel for training and matches and to reduce the spread of covid19 fans were not allowed to attend matches.
“We can’t just fall back and say, ‘Well there is a pandemic’ and we throw our hands up in the air and let it get the better of us. What that cricket has demonstrated that it is possible to get it done, but to do so successfully you have to have the discipline to follow the advice. I must say the advice was followed and the outcome was very satisfactory and the processes were flawless, so let us let that template be a model for us.”
The CPL was the first T20 franchise tournament held since March when cases started to rise around the world. The Indian Premier League (IPL), which would be held in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), would aim to have the lucrative T20 tournament incident free like the CPL.
The IPL bowls off on September 19.
Several West Indies players will travel to the UAE for the tournament including TT quartet Kieron Pollard, Dwayne Bravo, Nicholas Pooran and Sunil Narine.
Pollard was the captain of TKR, along with vice-captain Bravo and Narine.