By Neto Baptiste
A decision regarding the fate of the delayed Sir Richie Richardson Under-17 Cricket Tournament could be reached this week.
This is according to President of the Antigua and Barbuda Cricket Association (ABCA), Leon Rodney, who said the process outlined by the health authorities regarding testing for players ahead of the tournament has proven a time-consuming task in gathering all of the necessary information and getting all of the players tested in a suitable timeframe.
“It is going to take a lot of work because I know a lot of the players are training already but we have to put everything in place because all of them, based on the protocols they want us to use, will have to be tested so we would have to line them up and get a date. If it is going to be one day when everybody will be given the PCR test and I have gotten list from the umpires and I think it is about nine or 10 match officials who are fully vaccinated,” he said.
“All of the officials in the games have to be fully vaccinated and one PCR test for the players. There are a number of recommendations coming through for the directorship and we just have to sit down to determine whether we are going through with the tournament,” he added.
The Cabinet, in late June, rescinded a decision by the health authorities that the cricket association must create a bubble for players and officials while carrying out weekly PCR tests on all those taking part in the tournament.
It was since established that players would be subjected to a one-time PCR test at government’s expense while all officials much be fully vaccinated.
Rodney said that would take at least another couple of weeks before the tournament could be hosted.
“If it’s going to happen then I can’t see it is going to happen before August because July is basically finished already so by the time the teams continue to train and you get all of the testing done because I doubt they would want to do all the tests on one day because it’s 15 players per team which is a total of 60 players then I don’t know,” he said.
The tournament was originally slated to run from July 3 to July 24 at three venues across the island.