Unvaccinated Players Welcomed: Cricket Association To Allow Players With Negative Tests To Compete

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President of the Antigua and Barbuda Cricket Association, Leon Rodney (File photo)
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By Neto Baptiste

In a bold move, president of the Antigua and Barbuda Cricket Association (ABCA), Leon Rodney, announced Tuesday that the body will allow unvaccinated players to compete in the Super 40 tournament scheduled to bowl off on Saturday.

Under current Covid-19 protocols, only fully vaccinated players and officials are allowed to take part in competitions. Rodney had written to the health ministry requesting that the requirement be waived and that unvaccinated individuals be allowed to participate on presentation of a negative test but said he is yet to receive a reply.

“Well, if you can accept a man going to work with a negative test then why you can’t accept it for the league, and if that is going to create some controversy then I am prepared to accept the controversy.

“I am not going around any bush, we have written and I am saying that if the standard of the nation is that you can provide two Covid tests to go to work then we have to see it that way,” he said.

“If I am working for the government today Friday, I present my Covid test but I am going to play cricket tomorrow Saturday then why should I have to be fully vaccinated when I’ve been to work by just showing my Covid test? So, unless they tell us otherwise then we are just going to go with what the nation is saying because it is part of the national protocols and it’s as simple as that,” he added. 

In the recent Vax 8 tournament which was captured by the All Saints Pythons, only fully vaccinated players were allowed to compete.

Rodney said there is a buzz of excitement in the air regarding the inclusive policy adopted ahead of the tournament.

“We haven’t heard any negatives so far, so it says that people want to play cricket and this competition could be as exciting as the one last year or even better. We do hope that people would go out and support their clubs the way in which they did last year because the energy was there and I think that when you have that level of support in those matches leading up to the semifinals and final, that gives the players quite a bit of energy to play for their club and for their community,” he said. 

Rodney said that from a logistics standpoint, the association is ready to host the tournament.

“The umpires are in place, the match referees are in place, and I think we are just looking to top up the internet boxes because as you know we try to carry live scores from all the matches.

“I would just like to take the opportunity to remind all the teams hosting matches to please remember to have some electricity to accommodate the internet boxes so from our standpoint we are good to go,” he said. 

On Saturday, Pigotts Crushers face PIC Liberta Blackhawks at Pigotts, Bolans face All Saints Pythons in Bolans, Rising Sun Spartans take on Jennings at Rising Sun, CUB Bethesda Golden Eagles toss up against Empire Nation at Bethesda, and Combined Schools take on New Winthorpes Lions.

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