SDC T20 pulls up stumps due to curfew orders
The Social Development Commission (SDC) National Community Twenty20 cricket competition has been suspended indefinitely in light of the Government of Jamaica’s new COVID-19 curfew restrictions.
On Wednesday, September 15, Prime Minister Andrew Holness announced the new curfew measures that will run from September 18 to October 28. These new measures will see the curfew running from 8:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m. from Monday to Friday. The curfew will run from 6:00 p.m. on Saturday to Monday at 5:00 a.m., with Sunday being a no-movement day.
Terrence Richards, senior programmes coordinator of the SDC, said the new restrictions have made it very difficult for his organisation to continue the competition and reasoned that they had no other alternative but to postpone the tournament until further notice.
At the point of its suspension, the competition was in the quarter-finals stage with eight of the 202 participating teams remaining in the tournament.
“Unfortunately, we have to suspend games at times based on the new curfew hours that were announced by the prime minister earlier this month,” said Richards. “Sunday is our preferred day to play. However, we were using Saturdays when the curfew hour was at 8:00 p.m. Now that it has been moved to 6:00 p.m., it does not allow enough time for the players to complete two matches at each venue and get home on time.”
AWAITING NEW MEASURES
“We are now awaiting the next announcement at the end of October to see if things will improve and by that time we will commence in the first week of November and we will complete (the competition) at the end of November,” Richards said.
He underscored that despite the setback, he is not expecting any negative effect on the players.
Richards also noted that there have been no reports of anyone who has been associated with the competition contracting the COVID-19 virus.
“We still have enough time to complete the competition and the players are eager to get on with it and I know that they are looking forward to finishing the tournament,” Richards said.
“We have not had any negative report across any of the venues from any of the matches that were played. They are closely monitored by the Ministry of Health and we have not had any incidents of any participants contracting the virus because of the games,” he said.