CRICKET West Indies (CWI) CEO Johnny Grave said Trinidad is no longer an option for the South Africa tour of the West Indies due to the quarantine period required for people entering the country. Anyone entering TT must quarantine for 14 days because of the pandemic.
In a WhatsApp message to Newsday on Friday, Grave said he understands the Government’s guidelines. “Understandably they can’t allow anyone into the country at this moment without going through their quarantine requirements.”
Newsday was informed in mid-April that the entire South Africa tour of the West Indies, which includes five T20 matches and two Test matches, was tentatively scheduled to be played in Trinidad.
An anonymous source, who works with the TT Cricket Board (TTCB), told Newsday, “The dates (of the South Africa series) were not confirmed. It is tentatively going to start early June and it is going to be all here of course … We (TT) were supposed to initially get Pakistan (matches) now we are getting South Africa (matches).”
This year is a packed home schedule for West Indies with Australia and Pakistan expected to visit the Caribbean after South Africa. Grave said TT quarantine protocols are not conducive to a busy schedule.
“Unfortunately our schedules are so tight we can’t have players in room quarantines for so long without being able to train as that will mean we have to reduce the match schedules.”
In an interview with the ISports radio programme, Grave said, “We have been in discussions with the TT Government along with the TTCB (TT Cricket Board) as well about what protocols will be in place.”
Speaking more about the lengthy quarantine period in Trinidad, Grave told ISports, “One of the things that we don’t have the luxury of this year with South Africa, Australia and Pakistan coming in such close succession is any delays that we would face from having to expand tours if we needed to do a room quarantine for longer than the three days that our medical team is suggesting.”
CWI has tried to limit players’ travelling during the COVID-19 pandemic and it is likely that both the Test series and T20 series between South Africa and West Indies will be played in one country.
Sri Lanka and West Indies faced off in three T20 Internationals, three One Day Internationals and two Test matches from early March to early April. All those matches were played in Antigua at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium and at the Coolidge Cricket Ground.
Like Antigua, Trinidad has two venues of international standard – Queen’s Park Oval in St Clair and Brian Lara Cricket Academy in Tarouba. (TT Newsday)