The world has been at a complete stand-still for most part of this year and cricket has been no different. Come the 22nd of May, the cricketing fraternity is set to witness the sport’s competitive return amidst COVID19 scare. The eastern Caribbean island of St Vincent and the Grenadines will play a host to the inaugural edition of the Vincy T10 Premier League.
Vincy Premier League T10:
The VPL will be hosted by St Vincent and the Grenadines Cricket Association (SVGA) at the Arnos Vale Sporting Complex. The 10-day tournament will feature six teams playing a total of thirty matches for the title. The tournament, played in T10 format, will include a great mix of island’s local and international players. The teams picked their marquee players in the recently condcluded first draft of the tournament. The list included the likes of all-rounder Kesrick Williams, the Windies’ opener Sunil Ambris and the left-hand seamer Obed McCloy. Though the island hasn’t been completely successful at keeping the pandemic at bay, it has efficiently managed to control its spread. With only 8 active patients, the SVGA is confident of pulling off the tourney with all the necessary precautions.
Kishore Shallow, the president of SVGA, exclaimed that the idea for the tournament came only two weeks ago. Dream 11, an India-based sports-tech company, came up with the proposal that we forwarded to Cricket West Indies for approval. Shallow further said that he personally spoke to all Cricket West-Indies executives and was hopeful for smooth conduction of VPL. The local government and the ministry of health have also agreed to endorse the tournament. A few restrictions will be imposed without altering the playing conditions.
Taking the necessary precautions:
The organisers have decided to ban the use of saliva to shine the ball, in order to maintain good hygeine. “Of course, we will be having different dedicated, assigned spaces around the players’ pavilion for teams so that they are not necessarily crowded together. All teams would have their own space where they could practise physical distancing.” Shallow clarified to ESPNcricinfo. The local authorities have also allowed the tournament to happen in open-doors. Not only will fans have an opportunity to enjoy cricket, but VPL might also stage a financial revival for the island nation.
“What we have been doing is managing the risk. So what we plan to do during the tournament is ask spectators to practise social and physical distancing. So they will be sitting at least a few seats apart. And because of the time the matches are taking place, we do not anticipate a massive crowd at the matches.” Moreover, Shallow also stressed on ‘sensitising’ the players about the code of conduct by observing an anti-corruption program.
To accomodate the Indian audiences, the VPL however, will take place under the sun than the lights (830am-2pm). The collaboration with the India-based Dream 11, has left the organisers with no choice but to play at ‘unusual timings’. But having said, the Vincy T10 Premier League will bring back the joy that cricket fans from over the world have been missing.