NO Secondary schools cricket will be played this term.
Age group tournaments, including Under-14, Under-16 and Under-19, are normally played during term two which runs from January to March or April.
The covid19 pandemic has brought those tournaments to a halt.
Officials of the Secondary Schools Cricket League (SSCL) met virtually on Thursday to determine a way forward for schools cricket.
One of the tournaments, which normally bowls off in January, is the premiership 50-Over boys tournament featuring the top eight schools in TT. Shiva Boys Hindu College won the title in 2020.
Last term, the pandemic also led to the cancellation of Secondary Schools Football League tournaments.
“We have to discuss with the sponsors still, but we don’t see anything happening this term at all which ends the end of March,” president of the SSCL Surujdath Mahabir told Newsday, on Thursday.
“For anything to happen at all we have to get clearance from the Ministry of Health and approval from the Ministry of Education. We are hopeful by April we could have some form of cricket.”
Mahabir is hopeful the much anticipated PowerGen Intercol T20 tournament among the premiership (first) and championship (second) division schools could be played during the Easter holidays.
The SSCL is targeting next term for the Under-16 and Under-14 divisions to bowl off, along with the Flow Girls Cricket tournament.
This is the 25th year PowerGen has been sponsoring school cricket tournaments.
“Once we are able to have proper protocols, hygiene (and) all the measures in place they should be allowed some form of recreation.”
Mahabir said when cricket resumes it is the responsibility of coaches and managers of teams to help ensure that covid19 protocols are followed.
“What is important as well is that the persons that are charge – the managers (and) the coaches – they will have to take the extra precaution.”
Some students have been spending the time off the cricket field wisely by doing personal training. Mahabir encouraged them to continue doing so.
“The message to our children who are at home right now is to focus on the school work, try to get in some physical activity in the area where they live in small numbers or in safe conditions (and) keep fit as best as you can.”
Mahabir also encouraged the students to focus on the mental aspect of the game.
Fatima College premier division coach Miguel Paty said the news was difficult to hear, but agreed it is the best decision.
“I mean it is really on the Ministry (Health/Education) itself. It is their decision (and) I suppose they have to protect the kids. I don’t think there is much they could really do at this point in time.”
Paty added, “It is a little disappointing because I think the kids were really kind of looking forward and hoping that they would have a cricket season. They don’t really get to see each other.”
Paty believes it will be “nice” if officials could find a way for the students to return to the field after being indoors for the past year, but understands this is “dangerous times.”
Manager of Presentation College, Chaguanas Roland Hosein, said, “I am for that decision not to restart anything as yet at least until vaccination or things like that happen…it will be really exposing these boys unnecessarily.”
Hosein said the development of the cricketers will be on pause.
“It will be a set back with their cricket development…since last year March to now they have not been able to play anything competitive at all.”
Hosein said his players who are in their final year at the school are eager to play. It will be their last chance to represent the school and maybe their last chance to earn selection for the national Under-19 team.