All Seems Good Till Now
The global COVID-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc in many spheres of life, especially in sporting events. When it struck last year, many sporting tournaments were called off, while some were held under strict measures. For example, the Caribbean Premier League was held last year but with drastic changes in its structure and format. These changes have persisted and are expected to be applied even in CPL 2021.
Traditionally, the CPL, composed of six Caribbean teams, was held in different countries. The teams played a total of 33 matches, starting at the group stage, then two play-off semi-finals, and then finishing with the final. In the group stage, the teams play ten games each, three of which are played on their home ground. This requirement makes for an exciting schedule as all teams converge at one location, play five matches, then move to the following location and play five more until they have covered all the six grounds.
But with the advent of COVID last year, these plans were canceled, and the matches were held in two venues in Trinidad and Tobago. The venues for CPL 2020 were Queen’s Park Oval and Brian Lara Stadium. The players also had to remain in bio-secure bubbles throughout the tournament. The players, team, and match officials underwent COVID tests 72 hours before they traveled to ensure the safety of the traveling party.
Last year one player based in Jamaica tested positive, and it was found out that he was in close contact with two others; thus, they were not allowed to participate in the CPL 2020. A coach from Australia also tested positive and had to miss the tournament. Due to the success of these arrangements, COVID tests for 2021 CPL will be carried out at least 72 hours beforehand. As an added precaution, the organizers will ensure all people in the bubble are fully vaccinated.
However, in 2020, 162 players, team and match officials, and administrators were tested and cleared to enter the bio-secure bubble. They were expected to stay confined to the official hotel for the duration of the tournament and avoid contact with family members and friends. In addition, they had to follow strict regulations and protocols to protect the CPL cohort and citizens of the host country at large.
This year’s Hero CPL 2021 will be held in Warner Park in St. Kitts and Nevis, and the same stringent protocols are expected to be enforced.
Stay tuned for more from your favorite CPL 2021 players and teams