The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has left the world at a standstill. Cricket at the local, regional and international level has been halted.
From a West Indian perspective, this mighty roadblock has caused the cancelation of two rounds of the Cricket West Indies (CWI) Regional 4-Day championship that was slated to conclude on April 5. Additionally, the Women’s Colonial Medical Insurance Super50 Cup, which was set to be held in Guyana from March 27 to April 12 has been suspended.
The Regional Under-15 Boys’ Championships, which were slated for April 9 to April 20 in Antigua, were also suspended. The Regional U-19 Girls’ Championships in Trinidad, slated for April 6-12, were also suspended. Further, CWI meetings were postponed owing to COVID-19. The Guyana Cricket Board (GCB) Under-19 inter-county tournament may also be suspended.
A host of Caribbean players and other international players were set to travel to India for the Indian Premier League (IPL), which was scheduled for April 14. Given the lockdown in India, cricket pundits were calling for an IPL without fans, a shortened IPL or shifting the IPL to later in the year. The IPL franchises had turned to popular online platform WhatsApp for players’ queries.
The international calendar for March-April would have seen the Netherlands tour Nambia and Ireland tour Belgium. In May, Bangladesh were set to tour Ireland and two teams would have played a tri-nation series against England later in the month. The West Indies tour of England, which is also at a standstill, was originally scheduled for June 4 to June 29 with England hosting the Caribbean team in three Test matches.
There have been talks about hosting these three Test matches in the Caribbean, but the level of uncertainty remains high given the mighty roadblock – COVID-19. In the women’s game, Australia Women were set to tour South Africa from March 22 to April 4. From a local point of view, the Berbice Cricket Board (BCB) season has also been suspended.
The COVID-19 is not only cricket’s mighty roadblock but the entire sporting world’s, and it is left at a standstill. Athletes are seen plying their trade indoors in a testing period for all. (Brandon Corlette)