BASSETERRE, St.Kitts (Friday 30th April 2021)-Chief Executive Officer of the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) Pete Russell is of the view that the fully-vaccinated entry requirement for attendance to the 2021 Caribbean Premier League (CPL) to be held in St.Kitts could help to encourage others in the Federation to get the COVID-19 vaccine.
He shared his opinion while speaking at a press conference held on Tuesday 27th April 2021, streamed live via Youtube.com for which facilitated via Zoom technology, catering to the attendance of other officials along with media workers.
That session featured an announcement by the Minister of Education, Youth, Sports and Culture Jonel Powell about St.Kitts-Nevis being the host country for the cricket matches.
“The planning and details that needs to go into making these things happen is so important, and I think to have the first fully vaccinated tournament, it’s again just showing the world forward and I’m sure that this will encourage people, certainly in the Federation, to get their vaccines so that they can come and watch some great cricket, and I think that’s very important. …We all know that vaccination is the way out of this [pandemic] so hopefully everyone would take heed and we look forward to welcoming them at Warner Park,” Russell stated.
As understood, the first game is slated to take place on Saturday 28th August 2021 and matches will run through to the middle of September, and will see a 50% capacity of fans in attendance to the 8000-seat venue.
According to Russell, CPL is “absolute thrilled to be playing all 33 games in St.Kitts.”
He described CPL being able to host a fully vaccinated tournament as the “exciting part of it.”
“I think we led the way in terms of the protocols being put in place that have obviously now become a part of most events. We were the first large [capacity] cricket tournament back [in 2020] and that went very successfully. You’ve seen that others have had their problems…”
Russell thanked the Sports Minister for having put in more than six months of work to ensure that the opportunity materialized.
“We believe that it is such an important part of the recovery of the region that we’re able to host CPL at all. We were very lucky to host it in Trinidad last year which was very successful, and this year again continues that process. We all hope that region gets back some form of normality. We absolutely appreciate and understand that tourism is very much a part of the economies. …so it’s very important to us that CPL takes place…,” Russell pointed out.
The Sports Minister commented that during this difficult period of pandemic, St.Kitts and Nevis understands the needs to position itself for recovery and recognizes the importance of its relationship with the CPL and the St.Kitts-Nevis Patriots.
“Consequently, yesterday the Federal Cabinet would have renewed the agreement for St.Kitts-Nevis and the CPL thus ensuring that for another five years, St.Kitts and Nevis would have the benefit of the St.Kitts-Nevis Patriots, all the rights that come with them and the right to host home matches in relation to the CPL.”
Powell continued: “We also have taken it into consideration our own track record in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic and the fact that we’ve been able to weather that storm pretty well. To date, we’ve had 44 [recovered] positive cases of COVID-19 with no deaths an no serious illnesses and so we’re confident in our ability to contribute to sport and in this regard the CPL, and so it is my pleasing duty to announce that yesterday, the Federal Cabinet of St.Kitts and Nevis approved the hosting of the entire 2021 CPL tournament here in St.Kitts and Nevis to be held at Warner Park, Basseterre, St.Kitts.”
“We look forward to partnering with CPL, we look forward to the tremendous economic benefits that would flow from having the entire tournament held here and the continued cricket development that ensues from the relationship between us, the CPL, the St.Kitts-Nevis Patriots and our own local cricket association,” he also noted.
Powell also announced that as of the 15th May 2021, St.Kitts and Nevis will be allowing patrons to attend all sporting events to capacity of 50% of the venue, and those patrons will have to be fully vaccinated with an approved COVID-19 vaccine which includes the upcoming CPL tournament.
“We are confident in our ability to pull off this tournament in a grand fashion but in a healthy way and so we look forward to the opportunity to continue partnering with CPL and to ensure that the game of cricket continues to flourish here in St.Kitts and the Caribbean,” the Sports Minister said.