All local cricket players and officials will get to vote on Monday, day of the T&T General Elections before they enter into the bio-secure Bubble which is being based at the Hilton Hotel, Lady Young Road, for the upcoming Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL) tournament. The players and officials were awaiting directions about when they would have to check-in and they got the information today from the CPL.
The local cricketers are at the moment doing their private training, while the international and regional players representing six teams, flew into Trinidad and Tobago on Monday night and are in self-quarantine at the Hilton Hotel. The local cricketers and officials have been told to exercise strict Covid-19 protocols before their coronavirus test on Friday.
Once they the test comes back negative they will then be allowed to check into the Hilton on Tuesday, the day after voting in the General Election. There are several local cricketers, umpires, physios and analysts who are involved with the six franchises that will be challenging for the 2020 title which is currently held by the Barbados Tridents which is led by West Indies Test captain Jason Holder and coach by West Indies head coach T&T's Phil Simmons.
Meanwhile, manager of the Trinbago Knight Riders (TKR) Colin Borde said that the local cricketers will not be in contact with the foreign players for a while. "Those foreign players and officials that are in quarantine will not meet up with the locals until the 15th and 17th of August where they will train at the UWI Spec in St. Augustine before the start of the tournament on August 18. Meantime, the work goes on and we will be having a practice match for our team at the Oval on Thursday. We are adhering to all Covid-19 protocols because we want to ensure that this tournament runs off as smoothly as possible."
Organisers are not taking any chances as they have accredited only eight journalists for the tournament from the major news outlets in Trinidad and Tobago. At the Brian Lara Academy, the media would not be able to access the players and congregate in the same area because they will be housed at the Southern End of the ground. The players will be housed at the Northern End where the pavilion is. There will be no interaction in terms of interviews as these will have to be done using online technology.
The players will be whisked into and out of the ground without any interaction with the public and then they will be returning to the Hotel where they will stay in the bubble until their next match.
The CPL is the first T20 league to be played since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic. All the matches will be played in Trinidad and Tobago at the Brian Lara Cricket Academy in Taboura, San Fernando and the Queen's Park Oval in Port-of-Spain.
The tournament which bowls-off on August 18 and ends on September 10, will feature six franchise teams - the Barbados Tridents, Guyana Amazon Warriors, Jamaica Tallawahs, St Kitts and Nevis Patriots, St Lucia Zouks and Trinbago Knight Riders.
So far there are 199 positive cases in T&T with eight deaths as of the 6:00 pm update from the Ministry of Health on Wednesday.
The opening match will be between the Trinbago Knight Riders and the Guyana Amazon Warriors at the Brian Lara Cricket Academy from 10 am followed by the defending champions the Tridents against the Patriots from 5.30 pm.