ST JOHN’S, Antigua
– Cricket West Indies (CWI) has announced it would suspend the last two rounds of the marquee first class championship, along with an entire suite of youth tournaments for the next 30 days, as it braces for the full impact of the deadly coronavirus across the region.
In a statement, CWI said the decision was taken on the recommendation of its Medical Advisory Committee, which convened by teleconference last Thursday to discuss the impact of the virus on the domestic schedule.
“The health and safety of our players, officials and staff, are of paramount importance to CWI and we have advised the Board of Directors to take proactive policy steps to decrease the growing risk of contamination and spread of the virus,” said CWI’s Chief Medical Officer, Dr Israel Dowlat.
Trinidad and Tobago, Guyana and Antigua were set to host upcoming age group tournaments. The Women’s Super50 Cup was scheduled for Guyana from March 27 to April 12, the Under-15s Boys Championship was carded for Antigua April 9-20 while the inaugural Under-19 Girls Championship was set for Trinidad from April 6 to 12.
Dr Donovan Bennett, chairman of the Medical Advisory Committee, said the decision to suspend the competitions was aimed at minimising the spread of the virus.
“We are acting based on medical best practices as well as in an abundance of caution,” Bennett said.
“The ongoing gathering of even small groups of spectators, cricketers and match officials could pose a risk to some persons of contracting the virus and being stranded in quarantine in a non-resident country for a prolonged period.
“Clearly this pandemic is still evolving, and we will continue to monitor the situation throughout the Caribbean.”
All face-to-face CWI meetings – including a board of directors meeting and an annual general meeting scheduled for Antigua next month, have been suspended.
The board said any “urgent matters” would be discussed via teleconference.