St Kitts and Nevis (WINN): Caribbean Premier League (CPL) Chief Executive Officer Pete Russell has reassured cricket fans of the league’s commitment to player and spectator safety as the cricket tournament welcomes fans to Warner Park for this year’s competition.
The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has forced the CPL to be hosted by a solitary location for the second season after being hosted by Trinidad and Tobago last year, without fans.
The CPL changed direction this year and will allow fully vaccinated spectators to Warner Park for the competition which bowls off August 26.
In an exclusive interview on WINN FM’s Island Tea Morning Show, Russell expressed measured optimism with the move to bring fans back but confirmed that strict protocols will be in place for everyone’s safety.
“You will always have concerns,” Russell said. “The task force here in St. Kitts has been incredibly vigilant in what we have done so far. We still think we will get 50% capacity. The reality is that you have to be double vaccinated to come, you have to show proof of identity and also have your vaccination card to get into the ground. We hope the crowds come, because at the end of the day because as you know CPL and most sporting events, the crowd makes it. Even at 50% capacity, you will still get a great vibe. If it’s done properly and safely which we will obviously ensure that it is, then they won’t be any problems.”
The CPL continues to work with government officials in preparation for the start and Russell confirms that tickets will go on sale this Friday, August 20.
“Friday is the date we are aiming for, like all things COVID, we are working through procedures and processes with the task force, to make sure everything is in place. The box office will be open on Friday for sure and then hopefully we will have online sales going forward as well. The ticket pricing will be incredibly reasonable, the mound will be 10 US and the Party Stand 15US. We want people to come out and enjoy themselves, we are going to keep everything very reasonable. For us it is about welcoming fans back, they have been incredibly patient, and we want to reward that patience.”
Russell also heaped praise on the leadership of the St. Kitts and Nevis government for the assistance, planning and commitment to hosting the region’s showpiece cricket event.
I can’t speak highly enough about the government of St. Kitts and Nevis because they have supported us from day one in this venture. They (the government) supported us whilst COVID was raging around the world. For them to have given us the green light has been great. They have done a great service for the Caribbean the tournament will be enjoyed around the region and hopefully, everyone can forget about COVID for a few weeks. “It’s been a long journey getting here, Russell said.”