Jamaica Scorpions are pressing ahead with their preparation for next year’s start of the Regional four-day season, despite the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Though Cricket West Indies are yet to confirm the date for the start of the new season, Scorpions began training last Wednesday and are expected to continue four days per week until year-end, under social distancing protocols.
“They have to train because they are professionals, so it is only right for them to keep healthy and to keep fit,” the Gleaner newspaper quoted Jamaica Cricket Association chief executive, Courtney Francis, as saying.
“It is also a part of their mental preparedness. Because of the COVID-19 restrictions, everybody is stressed out.
“Their livelihood depends on it, and they have family members who are depending on them. We have talked to the players that when February comes around, our players will be fit and in order to play.
“They are training Monday through to Thursday, but it is not everybody every day because the numbers are minimal, so most of it is one-on-one training, and we will be going right through to December.”
Jamaica has been heavily impacted by COVID-19 with health authorities confirming 8 195 cases and 168 deaths. There are currently 4 265 active cases, with 63 recorded on Friday alone.
Special curfew restrictions exist in areas where outbreaks have been detected.
Francis said the players were cognisant of the challenges presented by the pandemic but were going about their business professionally.
“They are not feeling any way about training in this COVID-19 pandemic because they know what is required of them if they are going to be successful,” Francis said.
“I think that any tournament that [CWI] comes up with now, I know that they will be ready for it.”
Last year’s four-day tournament was cut short after the eighth round last March due to the COVID-19 outbreak in the region.
Scorpions finished third in the six-team championship on 91.8 points, with Barbados Pride declared winners after topping the standings on 134.8 points.