50% crowd for CPL 2021 matches- CEO Russell
By Avenash Ramzan
Fans will be allowed in the Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL) matches in 2021, according to Chief Executive Officer, Pete Russell.
In an exclusive chat with News Room Sport on Tuesday, Russell announced that CPL will accommodate 50% capacity for the matches, all 33 of which will be played at Warner Park, St. Kitts.
It will be the first time fans would be allowed to witness live action in CPL matches since 2019, after the 2020 tournament, won by Trinbago Knight Riders, was hosted behind closed doors in Trinidad and Tobago.
“We were lucky to have last year to sort of run our blueprint in terms of how you run a tournament in the pandemic and that went pretty well for us. This year is going to be slightly different because we are going to have crowds; there will be 50% capacity at Warner Park,” Russell said.
“You have to be double vaccinated to attend, which I think is going to be the norm in a lot of places, but that’s good. So we will have the CPL vibe back to some degree.”
Warner Park Stadium, one of seven new venues built for Cricket World Cup 2007 in the Caribbean, has a capacity of 8,000.
Russell pointed out that hosting the League in the midst of a pandemic has its own complexities and challenges, and planning and execution have to be on point.
Players, officials and staff are expected in from 19 countries, all of whom have to be fully vaccinated to be part of the tournament.
“We’ve had to take the Marriott in its entirety, so no other guests are allowed near it. We then have to cordon off the floors to allow for quarantine for three or 14 days, depends on when you come in. You have to have different wristbands to show where you’re at, at different stages. It’s almost like creating a tournament within a tournament, just creating the protocols around COVID,” Russell explained.
The 2021 tournament, which has 33 matches cramped into 16 playing days, will bowl off with a high-octane clash between reigning and four-time champions Trinbago Knight Riders and five-time runner-up Guyana Amazon Warriors on August 26 at 10:00h.
See tournament schedule below: