CPL finding ways to alleviate mental pressure of isolation

…absent fans will not affect quality of tournament – Hall

Owing to the deadly COVID-19 pandemic, sport organizers have had to come up with innovative ways to host tournaments, in the interest of healthy safety.
For the Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL), a fan-less tournament and isolation measures are a huge blow, but organizers will put measures into place to alleviate these circumstances.

The National Stadium, Providence will miss its thousands of fans this year

Since arriving in Trinidad and Tobago around the 3rd of August, in excess of 150 cricketers from around the world have been in isolation at the Hilton Hotel.
On Monday last, they players completed their 7 days of isolation and were able to interact with a limited number of fellow players. According to Tournament Operations Director Michael Hall, the CPL is finding ways to keep the players occupied before the tournament with the likes of game consoles and other activities. This he noted would lessen the mental pressure of being isolated.
“We’re very cognizant of the fact that being in an environment for an extended period of time is going to be challenging for a lot of people and we’ve already, proactively take some steps to mitigate that,” he said.
Hall further stated, “We do recognize that this is something that we’ll have to try to alleviate, in terms of the mental pressures of being; I don’t want to use the word locked up because as of today (Tuesday) there’s a certain amount of freedom that has been made available to everybody who is in the hotel.”
As such, hall disclosed that the tournament organizers are looking into hosting an E-Sport virtual Cricket league that will run from preliminary rounds into a championship game. This, he explained, will assist in getting the players ready.
On the other hand, Hall shared the possibility of having a player lounge during games.
“I think we’re working with one of our sponsors to have a player lounge that would have a significant number of televisions, where live sports can be viewed and other events can take place. Obviously, within that player lounge area we’re going to exercise all the social distancing protocols are in place, and perhaps a massive group will not be able to go in there at any one time,” Hall revealed.
When probed about the impact that fan-less stands can have on the tournament which is branded as the ‘biggest party in sport’, Hall revealed that it is indeed a great loss but the quality of the tournament has earned that title.
“Most athletes do enjoy the crowd atmosphere and they get geared up by it. But it remains to be seen,” He posited.
Hall then went on to state, “Clearly the tournament is going to miss the fans, there is no doubt about that. I think we deserve the name, ‘the biggest party in sport’, I think over the years we proved that we are. Look, these are difficult time s and we’re all learning as we go along. And we certainly hope that after this year we’ll never have to put on a tournament again without fans.”
The hero Caribbean Premiere League will bowl off next Tuesday, August 18 with a double header. The Guyana Amazon Warriors will face off with the Trinbago Knight Riders at 10:00am while the Barbados Tridents will take on The St Kitts and Nevis Patriots at 5:20pm. (Jemima Holmes)