CPL ‘bubble’ trouble - Franchises livid after local players allowed to train and play games in T&T
On June 3, 2020, former Trinbago Knight Riders (TKR) captain Dwayne Bravo, in an interview with THE STAR, stated that none of the six Caribbean Premier League (CPL) teams will have an advantage with the Twenty20 tournament being staged exclusively in Trinidad and Tobago.
However, there are growing concerns among the other franchises who have been placed in a biosecure environment or ‘bubble’ since arriving in T&T, while the local TKR players have been training and playing practice matches in Port of Spain.
On Thursday, a TKR team beat an Invitational team by 133 runs in a warm-up game at the Queens Park Oval in Port of Spain.
All other teams and officials have been self-isolated in their rooms at the Hilton Trinidad for the past seven days with no contact with each other.
Citing a clear advantage for the TKR team, St Lucia Zouks captain Darren Sammy took to Twitter yesterday to air his disgust at the situation.
“How can everybody else be in a bubble with no access to training or practice games while others on the outside in a COVID-infected area are training and playing practice games. Then allowed to join the bubble without self-isolation,” asked Sammy.
Another franchise member who spoke to The Gleaner on the condition of anonymity said they too raised the concern with the CPL organisers but nothing was said or done on the matter.
When The Gleaner contacted the CPL organisers for comment, public relations chief Peter Miller sent us a letter from the CPL Tournament Chief Medical Officer, Dr Akshai Mansingh, which was addressed to all the team managers, captains and coaches on August 8.
In the letter, it stipulates that anyone coming from overseas, including Trinidadians, must quarantine for two weeks. The letter also states that the T&T Government, following the Ministry of Health guidelines, has not restricted movements of their citizens, as they have not had a large community spread.
Trinidad and Tobago have so far registered 280 coronavirus cases with eight deaths and 138 recoveries.
The local members of the TKR franchise will be allowed to join the CPL bubble today at the Hilton following a negative Test.
Six TKR players who have been in quarantine and self-isolating in their rooms since arriving in T&T are Colin Munro, Muhammad Ali Khan, Tim Seifert, Fawad Ahmed, Praven Tambe and Sikandar Raza.
The remaining franchises who underwent a second COVID-19 test yesterday are expected to finally begin training on Thursday of this week.
The tournament gets underway on August 18 and will see 33 games played at two venues in Trinidad and Tobago before ending on September 10. The first match will see last year’s runners-up, the Guyana Amazon Warriors, take on the TKR.
The final will take place on September 10.