CWI brings players up to speed on health protocols

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BRIDGETOWN, Barbados – Cricket West Indies says players have been fully briefed on health protocols for next month’s Super50 Cup in Antigua, paving the way for the successful execution of the domestic championship amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

The tournament, set for February 7-27, is the first being staged by CWI since the outbreak of the pandemic in the region last year and will take place in a bio-secure bubble, which has now become standard for competitive sport.

All players and officials will be tested twice for COVID-19 before departing for Antigua and will undergo testing again within days of arrival in St John’s.

CWI cricket operations manager, Roland Holder.

Testing will continue throughout the tournament to ensure the integrity of the bio-secure bubble is maintained.

“We had the first meeting with all the players and all the participants via Zoom,” CWI cricket operations manager Roland Holder said.

“We had a meeting the week before that with the team management – coaches, team managers, and cricket operations personnel – to explain the schedule [and] talk about the schedule.

“We spoke to the players about the protocols involved in this new COVID era because some of them may not have been involved [before]. They were able to ask questions of Dr. Oba Gulston. Dr. Akshai Mansingh was also on board, so it was actually a fascinating time.”

Gulston is CWI’s manager for Sports Medicine and Science, while Mansingh is a board’s medical advisory committee member.

Six franchises will contest the Super50 Cup with squads and officials expected to start arriving in Antigua from next Sunday.

The tournament will be played at the Coolidge Cricket Ground and the Vivian Richards Cricket Stadium. CWI soliciting Antigua’s Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Sport, and the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA).

CWI said in a statement that the collaboration with these agencies would help “to orchestrate logistics and agree on the safety and medical protocols for the commencement and duration of the tournament.”

Hosts Leeward Islands Hurricanes, losing finalists in the last Super50 Cup staged in 2019, will take on Windward Islands Volcanoes in Coolidge’s opening game on February 7.

Last March, the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in the region forced CWI to abort the final two rounds of the first-class championship.

The regional governing body was then forced to scrap all scheduled home series, which included tours by South Africa and New Zealand.

The Super50 Cup’s success is expected to pave the way for international tours by Sri Lanka, Pakistan, South Africa, and Australia later this year.

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