By Neto Baptiste
Clubs competing in this year’s State Insurance Company Super 40 cricket competition to be put on by the Antigua and Barbuda Cricket Association (ABCA) starting January 16, must take responsibility for both the safety of their players and officials while making sure that all of the stipulated Covid-19 protocols are followed.
This is according to president of the association, Leon Rodney, who said that although the body would have prepared the Sir Vivian Richards Cricket Ground for the staging of the recently held 10 Splash Cricket Tournament, the 10 clubs set to host matches in the Super 40 must ensure that all the necessary mechanisms are in place at their respective venues.
“Before the 10 Splash tournament we did circulate the ABCA back to cricket [document] during Covid and after Covid, so everybody has the protocols and each team is solely responsible. I am sure you may be aware that the ABCA bought temperature guns for all of the teams, so what they should be doing is testing all of their players’ temperature and noting it,” he said.
Concerns had been raised that some clubs may not be able to successfully manage the process at the various home venues with many of the field not being fenced. There is also no restriction on spectators while policing of the venue could also prove challenging.
Rodney said, however, that clubs must ensure that the requirements are met and maintained, listing some of the areas that must be covered by the clubs.
“Make sure that on arrival they wear their masks and provide some level of hand-washing station and you may not have the fancy sink and so on but I am sure they could organise one of those big bottles with the pump and some sanitiser. It will have a little extra cost to it but if you’re running a club then I am sure you will get around to begging two sanitisers here or there and making sure that everybody tries to stay as safe as possible,” the cricket chief said.
The association, Rodney revealed, recently took the decision to postpone the start of the competition by one week to allow some teams to finalize their preparations.
“Even though some of the clubs would have been ready, we think it would only make sense for everybody to be fully ready. It gives us (ABCA), time to send out all of the information and get some promotion going as well in terms of pushing the cricket so that people could pass by and take a look at some cricket matches wherever the venues would be,” he said.
Defending champions Pigotts Crushers, PIC Liberta Blackhawks, CUB Bethesda Golden Eagles, Empire Nation, All Saints Pythons, Jennings, Bolans Rising Sun Spartans, New Winthorpes Lions and Combined Schools are all set to compete in the 40 overs competition.