Player loan scheme to help avoid COVID postponements | Sports

ST JOHN’S, Antigua (CMC):

CRICKET WEST Indies (CWI) has announced that the 2022 West Indies Championship will kick off on Wednesday, marking the return of top class cricket to the region for the first time since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, and special arrangements are being made to help teams continue in the tournament if COVID-19 infections impact their teams.

In unveiling the match schedule for the first two rounds of the championship on Monday as part of a five-round tournament schedule for the six professional regional franchises, CWI said it was implementing a special “player loan” system. to try to ensure that every 15-member team will be able to complete their matches.

He explained that if a team has players ruled out due to testing positive for COVID-19, they can request to use players from another team and/or a pool of locally registered reserve players.

CWI CEO Johnny Grave said the tournament was a vital part of CWI’s professional cricket calendar and its return had been preceded by six months of planning.

CWI had suspended the 2019–20 Championship on March 13, 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, before canceling it 11 days later and naming the winners of the Barbados Pride tournament after finishing top of the group.

“This is exciting news as we know the teams have worked hard for hours in the nets, patiently waiting for matches to be confirmed, and can’t wait to be back on the pitch and entertaining their fans. These matches at coming are particularly crucial as we welcome England to the Apex Test Series in March, so the ‘Championship’ will also be ideal preparation for our Test players,” said Grave.

CWI Director of Cricket Jimmy Adams also hailed the return of four-day cricket which will be contested by Barbados Pride, Leeward Islands Hurricanes, Windward Islands Volcanoes, Guyana Harpy Eagles, Trinidad and Tobago Red Force and the Jamaica Scorpions.

“I am delighted to see the reintroduction of regional four-day cricket for the first time since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020. This competition plays a vital role in our player development journey and, after almost two years, we are delighted to have our regional players returning to play competitively in this format,” he said.

RED BALL CONTEST

CWI said the West Indies Championship not only marks a return of regional red ball competition, but also an opportunity for Caribbean players to claim their selection to the West Indies Test Squad for the upcoming Apex Test series. between the West Indies and England in March.

The first and second rounds will be played in Barbados and Trinidad from Wednesday February 9 to Saturday February 12; and from Tuesday February 15 to Friday February 18. The teams will face off again for the Headley Weekes Trophy named after West Indies legends George Headley and Sir Everton Weekes.

Defending champions Barbados Pride will face the Leeward Islands Hurricanes in the opener at Kensington Oval; local Trinidad and Tobago Red Force host Jamaica Scorpions at Brian Lara Cricket Academy in Trinidad; while the newly named Guyana Harpy Eagles take on the volcanoes of the Windward Islands at Queen’s Park Oval in Trinidad.

In the second round, Barbados Pride will face Jamaica Scorpions at Kensington Oval; Trinidad and Tobago’s Red Force take on the volcanoes of the Windward Islands at the Brian Lara Cricket Academy; and the Guyana Harpy Eagles meet the Leeward Islands Hurricanes at Queen’s Park Oval.

The last three rounds of the Antilles championship are to be played in May. For the 2022 tournament, each team will consist of 15 players.