After BBL and IPL, the organisers of the Caribbean Premier League have also confirmed the tournament will go ahead amid the coronavirus pandemic but in empty stadiums starting August 18 with the final slated for September 10.

As part of the strict guidelines due to the ongoing health crisis, CPL will be played entirely in Trinidad & Tobago this year with all 33 matches to be held in two stadiums.

The Brian Lara Cricket Academy in Tarouba will host 23 games, including the semi-finals and final, and the Queen’s Park Oval in Port of Spain has been allotted 10 matches.

The season gets underway with 2019 runners-up Guyana Amazon Warriors taking on Trinbago Knight Riders, while the second game will be last year’s champions Barbados Tridents taking on the St Kitts & Nevis Patriots.

Fans will have to wait until game 22 for a repeat of last year’s final with the Tridents taking on the Amazon Warriors.

Credit: CPL

“The tournament will take place behind closed doors in a bio-secure environment with a series of stringent protocols in place to protect those involved in the tournament and the wider population from the spread the COVID-19 virus,” CPL said in a statement on Monday.

CPL’s CEO, Damien O’Donohoe is hopeful that the interest in the league will be higher than ever since it will be the first franchise-based tournament to return amid the health scare.

“This year will be a different CPL, but the standard will be higher than ever. We have seen the appetite for live sport since it has returned after a prolonged absence, and the interest in CPL will be higher than ever with it being the first franchise T20 tournament to return,” O’Donohoe said in a statement.

CPL’s COO, Pete Russell thanked T&T government for facilitating the organisation of the tournament under difficult circumstances.

“We would like to express our gratitude to the government of Trinidad & Tobago for helping us to put on this tournament in such difficult circumstances. We are delighted that we are able to deliver a tournament that is ensuring the safety of the public and the players and that will be of such a high standard,” Russell said.