Why is the whole CPL 2021 being held at Warner Park?
Due to the ongoing pandemic, the West Indies Cricket Board and organisers of the CPL decided that it made sense to hold the whole tournament at just the one venue.
In this case, Warner Park in St Kitts and Nevis.
That’s in order to make it easier to have a secured bio-bubble and to limit the possibility of outbreaks of Covid-19 that could disrupt the tournament.
Which is precisely what happened at both the PSL and IPL earlier this year.
It will also make things far easier for players, management, fans, broadcasters, journalists and everyone else that there’s no travel involved.
Last year for the same reason (Covid-19) the CPL took the decision to host the majority of matches at the Brian Lara Academy in Tarouba, Trinidad.
The other matches were played at the Queen’s Oval in Port of Spain, also Trinidad.
So there’s a precedent for holding the whole of the CPL on the same island, although in this case it will only be at one venue, rather than two.
History, capacity and facilities
Named after the English 17th century explorer Sir Thomas Warner, it was the first of the new Caribbean stadiums to be opened ahead of the 2006 (ODI) World Cup, which Australia won.
Unlike most of the other venues, it was mostly funded with money from Taiwan, rather than China.
The complex is mostly divided into a football stadium and a cricket stadium, though it also includes tennis courts, netball and volleyball courts.
The football stadium holds 3,500 spectators and the cricket one 8,000.
Doesn’t sound like much compared to say the MCG in Melbourne, which once had 100,000 fans in it?
Maybe not, but it’s worth pointing out that the whole island of St Kitts has a population of just 35,000 so you could put just under a quarter of the whole island in the stadium and it would be full!
For the 2021 edition of the CPL, the ground will operate at half capacity, meaning up to 4,000 fans will be allowed to enter he ground for each match.
And that’s as long as they can prove they’ve been vaccinated.
Cricket at Warner Park
Warner Park has hosted Test matches, ODIs and T20Is involving the West Indies, plus a few other matches not involving the Windies, at the 2006 World Cup.
Because of its limited capacity, the West Indies Cricket Board rarely uses the ground for big international matches, preferring to use it for games against slightly weaker cricketing nations like Bangladesh, Ireland or Afghanistan.
Against this trio of teams they’re unbeaten but they did suffer a couple of really heavy defeats against England in T20Is played there.
It is of course also the home of the St Kitts and Nevis Patriots in the CPL.
Not that it’s necessarily been a happy hunting ground for them.
They’ve consistently been just about the weakest side in the CPL since it began, having just one runners-up spot to show for their efforts over the years.
Proof of their struggles is that they’ve finished rock bottom in three of the six seasons they’ve been in the CPL.