Basseterre, St. Kitts, April 28, 2021 (SKNIS): International cricket will return to St. Kitts and Nevis for multiple engagements in the summer of 2021, a clear sign of the confidence that authorities have garnered from the successful management of COVID-19.
In July, West Indies Cricket returns to Warner Park with three One-Day International matches. The following month, August, the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) will stage its 2021 tournament also at Warner Park.
Minister of Sports, the Honourable Jonel Powell, shared the news on Tuesday’s (April 27, 2021) edition of the radio programme Frank and Candid on ZIZ 96.1 FM.
“Everybody is getting excited about it. Not that we just have cricket but these are difficult times and we have seen the tremendous economic impact that St. Kitts and Nevis has benefited from when we host the usual five [CPL] home matches,” Minister Powell stated. “We now have 33 matches, four weeks of cricket, six weeks of hotel stay overs, and we anticipate tremendous economic impacts for ordinary people in St. Kitts and Nevis, who have had a rough time over the last year.”
The minister said that he has extensively negotiated with CPL officials to have the tournament hosted at Warner Park, since taking office in June 2020. The discussions became even more salient as cases of COVID-19 increased in countries around the Caribbean. To date, St. Kitts and Nevis has registered 44 confirmed cases of COVID-19 with zero deaths. All of the confirmed cases have recovered.
When the first CPL match bowls off on August 28, 2021, fans are expected to be in attendance. This is a notable change from last year’s tournament in Trinidad, which was spectator-less.
Minister Powell said that the stadium will welcome fans up to 50 percent of capacity. Each patron must prove that he or she is fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
“We are creating a bubble for cricket. We are going to do it for the West Indies matches and CPL as well,” the Minister of Sport said. “From the groundsmen to the cleaners, bus drivers, caterers, anybody entering that bubble is required to be vaccinated.”
As of Tuesday (April 27, 2021), health authorities reported that 12,298 persons in St. Kitts and Nevis have received the first dose of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine. The figure represents 37.2 percent of the target population who need to be vaccinated in order to achieve herd immunity. The herd immunity threshold is 33,037 persons which are 70 percent of the population of the Federation.