Less than 24 hours after Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley claimed that someone impersonated someone from the Chief Medical Officer’s office and communicated false information to the organisers of the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) and two days after his explanation on the decision for T&T to host the tournament, partly being an economic decision as detractors took issue with players being allowed to enter the country, comes another turn.
T&T, host of the eighth edition of the cricket tournament, is facing another stumbling block as strict protocols may see some of the international players deciding against participating in the annual T20 competition which is dubbed — the Biggest Party In Sports.
Guardian Media Sports was reliably informed on Tuesday that due to the strict health protocols called for by Chief Medical Officer (CMO) Dr Roshan Parasram, some of the franchise owners are up in arms, as it may see their foreign talent backing out.
It is understood that CPL officials are caught in the middle trying to please the government as well as the team owners. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the CPL has decided to offer T&T the entire tournament and last week, Minister of Sports Shamfa Cudjoe announced that the government had agreed and was willing to invest US$1M into the project.
She outlined that the foreign players will have to undergo a period of quarantine before being allowed to take part in the tournament. They are to provide a COVID-19 test which must show negative before leaving their country of origin. Then they must undergo another test on arrival at the Piarco International Airport.
Seven days after they will have to undergo another test and once they stay negative, they will then finish their self-isolation and be allowed to join up in small groups to train. After another seven days, they will have to undergo another test and then they can be cleared to join their entire team for the tournament.
It means that the players will have to be in Trinidad by August 1 to ensure that they undergo their quarantine period before preparations start for the tournament, which is carded for August 18. The tournament ends on September 10, which means that the players will have to be in Trinidad for a month and a half. This may be too long for some.
Also, some team owners who want to come in are not happy with the fact that they will have to undergo a 14-day quarantine period. It is understood that they can't stay too long away from their businesses and as such, they are not happy with the length of quarantine. Talks are ongoing between the CPL and Ministry of Health and a decision has to come soon as the time is running out.
The St Kitts government is waiting in the slips to snap up the chance, should T&T pass it up. St Kitts has just the one venue at Warner Park, while T&T possess two World-Class facilities in the iconic Queen's Park Oval in St Clair, Port-of-Spain and the Brian Lara Cricket Academy in Tarouba, San Fernando.
Meanwhile, during Monday's Ministry of Health virtual news press conference and without revealing what the name of the person, Dr Rowley chided the mischief that was attempted to derailed the tournament and the arrangement between the two parties.
“There are people in this country who are prepared to undermine the national efforts so that the country will fail so that they may succeed in their ambitions and their agenda,” he said.
Addressing the detractors who also took issue with CPL players being allowed to come into Trinidad and Tobago, Dr Rowley explained that it was partly an economic decision to benefit the country.