By Rajiv Bisnauth
SET to be played in a bio-secure environment, Cricket West Indies (CWI) will host its first domestic tournament since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic next month in Antigua.
Last year, CWI was unable to host the tournament after being forced to abort the last two rounds of the first-class championship, and then scrap all of its scheduled international home series due to COVID-19. The much-delayed tournament will be played without its customary glitz and glamour, but is expected to be a welcome relief to the cricket fans regionally during the coronavirus pandemic. All six teams will be in strict, bio-secure ‘bubbles’ upon landing in Antigua. A bio-secure environment or bio-bubble is planned to prevent the spread of coronavirus, and at the same time planned to minimise the risk of transmission of the virus from one person to another during an ongoing tournament or bilateral series.
However, at just age 21, Kevin Sinclair is a budding young off-spinning all-rounder, who will be a part of the Super50 tournament for the second time.
Sinclair got his first crack at senior regional cricket last November when CWI assembled a West Indies Emerging Players squad to compete in the Regional Super50 competition.
With all to play for and nothing to lose, the Emerging Players went on a dream run, culminating in a massive 205-run win over Leeward Islands Hurricanes in the day/night final at Queen’s Park Oval, Trinidad.
Sinclair was outstanding, making 28 off 33 balls, and then claiming 4-20 as Emerging Players expertly defended 293 to lift the title.
However, the West Indies Emerging Players will not defend their title, and Sinclair has forced his way into the Guyana Jaguars 15-man squad, as the Jaguars’ youngest member this season.
Speaking exclusively with Chronicle Sport yesterday, the Rose Hall Town Youth and Sports Club player admitted that while the bio-secure environment is probably going to be the hardest challenge we will face, personal performance throughout the tournament remains his priority.
“I’m excited to get over there and play cricket in what will be a new challenge. But the off-the-field stuff is another type of challenge. Bubble life is probably going to be the hardest challenge we will face out there,” he said.
Sinclair further stressed, “I want to make a mark… I want to perform in all areas once I get the opportunity.”
Further, players and officials will be tested in their respective home territories before travelling to Antigua where they will be tested again, before being placed in a bio-secure bubble.
Following a four-day quarantine players will be allowed to train while remaining in their team bubble.
Six franchises will play 19 matches in a round-robin format at Coolidge and the Vivian Richards Cricket Stadium, with the top four teams qualifying for the semi-finals.
Barbados Pride, Guyana Jaguars, Jamaica Scorpions, and Trinidad & Tobago Red Force are the four other sides doing battle for the Clive Lloyd Trophy.
The staging of the Super50 Cup is expected to be a precursor to a packed international home series that will see the likes of Sri Lanka, Australia, Pakistan and South Africa touring in the coming months.