Not so fast!

Cricket

Not so fast!

JCA adopts moderate approach to cancellations of event

BY SANJAY MYERS
Senior staff reporter
myerss@jamaicaobserver.com

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

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WHILE some sporting authorities have announced sweeping cancellations of ongoing or upcoming events, the Jamaica Cricket Association (JCA) has adopted a moderate approach, choosing to call off activities closer to their proposed start dates.

“The Jamaica Cricket Association at this time is working day by day on a tight schedule,” Courtney Francis, the JCA chief executive officer, said yesterday in reference to the health risk posed by the coronavirus pandemic.

“We have a calendar year of cricket events, and what we are doing is cancelling those events as per the dictates — with regard to the pandemic — from the Ministry of Health and Wellness. So we are guided by the Government and its relevant ministries and we are cancelling events based on those dictates,” he told the Jamaica Observer.

Since March, the spread of the novel coronavirus has crippled the sporting world, triggering a raft of postponements and cancellations.

To date there are over 300,000 reported deaths worldwide resulting from nearly five million confirmed cases. Up to late on Sunday, Jamaica had recorded nine fatalities from 520 cases.

Francis emphasised that organisers are constantly assessing current developments to determine how they will proceed.

“Because the pandemic does not have any specific deadlines, we are not sure. We do not have any data to support when it is going to stop or for how long it may last, so we are [watching] to determine how we move. It [health crisis] can stop and within a next month everything [is] back to normal, or it may go until further down in the year,” he explained.

The JCA chief executive said the Senior Cup, which is competed amongst clubs and parishes, and the Junior Cup, which is a mainly a development tournament, and the all-island Twenty20 competition, have been cancelled by the association.

He said that preparation activities for national senior women's, Under-15 boys', and Under-19 women's teams have also been called off.

The Sandals Under-19 and all-island limited-overs competitions, and preparation activities for the national Under-17 boys are next on the JCA's calendar.

“We will only open when we get the clearance that we should, and I can assure you that it will only be in increments. We are taking the decision to cancel as per the period,” he said, noting that decisions are taken while giving sufficient time allowance for player and venue preparation for that particular competition or event.

“It is safe to say that any [event that does not allow] three weeks to a month [of advance notice] before those tournaments [begin] are likely to be cancelled,” Francis told the Observer.

Days ago, the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) announced the cancellation of all competitions until September. The move involved the annulment of the football season, thereby ruling out the possibility of a champion team. It meant no relegation, and hence no promotion.

Among the criticisms was the argument that the JFF had been too hasty in its decision given the recent, tentative steps taken in other sectors to return to some level of normality.

Some were encouraged that many countries in Europe have laid the framework for the return of high-level club football. In Germany, top flight competition resumed on Saturday.

JFF President Michael Ricketts said that local football organisers lack the resources to match their European counterparts. He added that delaying the decision in the face of the closing window for the traditional season would only pile further financial burden on clubs.

Notably, while the local football season generally begins in August-September and ends in April-May, the JCA schedule is based on the calendar year.


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