The Government's Finance & General Purposes Committee met yesterday to prepare their final report on the financial aspects of hosting the entire Caribbean Premier League (CPL) tournament and the cabinet will now finally sit on it to give final approval.
Due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the owners of the CPL has decided to offer the entire tournament to T&T and give the proposed start date of August 18, final approval needs to come in this week. Last week, CPL needed to send in some final information to the government and this they did according to Chief Operations Officer (COO) Pete Russell. "We have provided all the information requested but I assume this still needs to filter down to the cabinet."
Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley speaking on I95 Sports show on Sunday said that he is optimistic that the tournament will come off. "We had a little sticking point. It is being worked out and hopefully, we can sign off on it at our cabinet meeting on Thursday. The major point was the protocol for hosting the tournament and this has been achieved."
Asked if the sticking point was of a financial nature, Rowley said: "I must maintain the position of confidentiality with CPL." He added: "Once the government is satisfied that the public interest is well protected then we will go. I am fairly optimistic we will get something going once we are able to clear, which we have done with the health situation."
With the CPL due to get going on August 18 and general elections in T&T set for August 10, Dr Rowley said he sees no issue. "They are two separate things. One is national and the other is international. Once the election is over we move on. We have the learn to walk and chew gum at the same time."
The cabinet is expected to have in hand all reports that will allow them to make an informed decision this week. The Finance and General Purposes Committee is responsible for establishing policies, procedures, and controls to facilitate financial governance, which includes financial planning, budget approvals, expenditure approvals, and financial reporting.
Once confirmed the tournament will be held at the Brian Lara Cricket Academy in Tarouba, San Fernando and the Queen's Park Oval in Port-of-Spain. The eighth edition of the competition is schedule to be bowled off on August 18 and will concluded on Septemer 10.