Regional cricket competitions in jeopardy

Cricket West Indies (CWI) domestic itinerary has been put in “jeopardy” following the reported cases of the coronavirus in the Caribbean.

Johnny Grave, the Cricket West Indies Chief Executive, says cricket is being affected by the novel coronavirus.

CWI Chief Executive, Johnny Grave, in a statement on Saturday disclosed that a decision would be taken shortly on whether to suspend the schedule altogether. Several cases have already been reported in Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, Guyana and St Vincent and the Grenadines and the Cayman Islands.

With health authorities anticipating a rise in reported cases and other Caribbean territories on high alert, Grave said it was critical CWI acted swiftly to mitigate against any potential risk to players and officials, and in the best interest of public safety.

“It wouldn’t be a surprise to me [if] there is a postponement or cancellation of our events.”

— CWI Chief Executive, Johnny Grave

“Our medical panel is meeting as we speak so they can provide a recommendation on our upcoming tours and series,” Grave told CMC Sports in a telephone interview.

“It wouldn’t be a surprise to me [if] there is a postponement or cancellation of our events. In the Caribbean now we’ve got cases reported in Guyana, St Vincent and Jamaica. I’m awaiting news of their recommendations, and we’ll take those recommendations immediately to the Board of Directors. We’re likely to host a conference call and ask for support of those recommendations.”

Possibility of cancellation

There are several cricket tournaments that were scheduled to be held in the Caribbean in the coming months.

Significantly, two matches of the ongoing eighth round of the Regional Four-Day Championship are being staged in affected territories, with Guyana Jaguars hosting Barbados Pride in Georgetown and Trinidad and Tobago Red Force hosting Windward Islands in Tarouba, South Trinidad.

Several other upcoming domestic tournaments face the possibility of cancellation. The Women’s Super50 Cup is set to run from March 30 to April 11 in Guyana, the boys Under-15 Championship is carded for Antigua from April 11-19 while the girls Under-19 Championship is scheduled for Trinidad from April 7-11.

Further, two rounds of the Regional Four-Day Championship still remain, with some matches scheduled for Trinidad, Guyana and Jamaica. Pointing to the entire suite of tournaments, Grave said all could be in danger once instability remained because of the coronavirus.

There are also several international series scheduled, with West Indies Women hosting South Africa Women from May 30 to June 10 in Jamaica and Trinidad, and West Indies A taking on South Africa A from June 10 to July 9 in Antigua and Barbados. New Zealand and South Africa’s men’s senior teams are also expected to tour the Caribbean in July and August.

Already, the coronavirus has infected over 125,500 people worldwide and resulted in more than 4,600 deaths. It has forced the suspension of the National Basketball League (NBA) and other sporting events in the United States where 50 deaths have been reported.