Historic biosecure tournament set to take flight

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Historic biosecure tournament set to take flight

Tuesday, January 26, 2021

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ST JOHN's, Antigua (CMC) — Hosts Leeward Islands Hurricanes will raise the curtain on next month's historic Regional Super50 Cup here, as Cricket West Indies (CWI) hosts its first domestic tournament since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic last March.

In the itinerary released yesterday by CWI, Hurricanes, losing finalists in the last Super50 staged in 2019, will clash in the opening match against Windward Islands Volcanoes at the Coolidge Cricket Ground on February 7.

Coolidge, recently acquired by CWI, will host the bulk of matches in the novel bio-secure environment, including the two semi-finals on February 24 and 25, and the final carded for February 27.

One match will be played each day of the competition with the Vivian Richards Cricket Stadium hosting six fixtures.

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 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 coming months.

Chief executive Johnny Grave said all the major stakeholders had worked in collaboration to ensure the tournament could be played amid the challenging environment.

“A huge amount of planning and work has been put in to ensure that the Super50 Cup can return,” Grave said in a statement.

“And CWI would like to offer our sincere thanks and appreciation to the Government of Antigua and Barbuda, title partners CG Insurance, our host broadcasters ESPN Caribbean and our colleagues at the Leeward Islands Cricket Board and the Antigua and Barbuda Cricket Association, for all of the their support in helping to stage the tournament during these unprecedented times.”

The Bermuda-based Colonial Group, now rebranded CG Insurance, will sponsor the tournament for the second time, and CEO Naz Farrow said the company's involvement was especially important because of the peculiar circumstances involved.

“We are happy to support the many players and organisers involved and recognise the major efforts that have gone into the preparation of this event during these unique times,” he said.

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.

Testing, which will be facilitated by the Ministry of Health here in conjunction with the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA), will continue for players and officials throughout the tournament.

Health authorities here reported three new cases of COVID-19 on Sunday, taking the number of active cases to 25. The country has recorded 201 infections overall.

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.

However, West Indies Emerging Players will not defend the title they captured when they stunned Hurricanes in a lopsided final at Queen's Park Oval in Trinidad 14 months ago.

Barbados Pride, Guyana Jaguars, Jamaica Scorpions, and Trinidad and Tobago Red Force are the four other sides doing battle for the Clive Lloyd Trophy.

FIXTURES:

Feb 7: Leeward Islands Hurricanes v Windward Islands Volcanoes (day match) – Coolidge Cricket Ground

Feb 8: Guyana Jaguars v Barbados Pride – Coolidge Cricket Ground

Feb 10: Leeward Islands Hurricanes v Barbados Pride – Coolidge Cricket Ground

Feb 11: Jamaica Scorpions v Trinidad & Tobago Red Force – Vivian Richards Cricket Stadium

Feb 12: Leeward Islands Hurricanes v Guyana Jaguars – Coolidge Cricket Ground

Feb 13: Windward Islands Volcanoes v Trinidad & Tobago Red Force – Coolidge Cricket Ground

Feb 14: Jamaica Scorpions v Guyana Jaguars – Coolidge Cricket Ground

Feb 15: Trinidad & Tobago Red Force v Barbados Pride – Vivian Richards Cricket Stadium

Feb 16: Windward Islands Volcanoes v Jamaica Scorpions – Coolidge Cricket Ground

Feb 17: Leeward Islands Hurricanes v Trinidad & Tobago Red Force – Coolidge Cricket Ground

Feb 18: Windward Islands Volcanoes v Barbados Pride – Vivian Richards Cricket Stadium

Feb 19: Leeward Islands Hurricanes v Jamaica Scorpions – Vivian Richards Cricket Stadium

Feb 20: Guyana Jaguars v Trinidad & Tobago Red Force – Coolidge Cricket Ground

Feb 21: Barbados Pride v Jamaica Scorpions – Coolidge Cricket Ground

Feb 22: Windward Islands Volcanoes v Guyana Jaguars – Vivian Richards Cricket Stadium

Feb 24: SEMI-FINAL 1 – Coolidge Cricket Ground

Feb 25: SEMI-FINAL 2 – Coolidge Cricket Ground

Feb 26: 5th place v 6th place – Vivian Richards Cricket Stadium

Feb 27: FINAL – Coolidge Cricket Ground

** All matches at SVRS start at 9:00 am.

** All matches at the CCG start at 1:30 pm Eastern Caribbean time unless otherwise stated.


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