Sri Lanka tour could restart international cricket in the Caribbean
Cricket West Indies (CWI) has tentative plans to have International cricket return to the Caribbean as early as the first quarter of 2021, but according to President Ricky Skerritt, the bugbear is ironing out where best they can have the bio-secure environment.
The International Cricket Council’s (ICC) future tours schedule lists Sri Lanka for a tour to the Caribbean in February-March for two Tests, three One-Day Internationals and three Twenty20s.
“Just this past week we produced a draft schedule of international and regional cricket for the approval of our board in our meeting last Thursday,” Skerritt told SportsMax TV.
“The first regional cricket [Super50 tournament] we are proposing is next year at the end of January. We are not hosting any international cricket before Sri Lanka [in March]. We got to go to Bangladesh in January-February and then we have three teams [Sri Lanka, South Africa and Australia] coming which are spread towards the summer rather than the early part of the year.”
He added, “The problem is where is suited and where can we create the protocols, including the bio-secure bubble. So a number of changes have to be looked at and a number of options.”
The Caribbean Premier League was played to great success in a ‘bubble’ as all players and officials stayed at one hotel in Trinidad and Tobago and matches were staged at two venues. No confirmed case of COVID-19 was reported from any player or official.
Initially, South Africa Women had been scheduled to play a five-match ODI series in Jamaica and Trinidad last May/June, while South Africa A had been carded for five one-dayers and three four-day “Tests” in Antigua and Barbados last June/July.
The senior men’s tours were also scrapped, New Zealand having been expected to play three ODIs and T20s in Antigua, Dominica and Guyana last July and South Africa to play two Tests and five T20s in Trinidad, St. Lucia, Jamaica and the United States in July/August.
Another issue lies with travelling within the region and the varied restrictions some countries have in place.
“In terms of regional air transport and the ability to move players around and deal with the restrictions, that is not something we can look towards at least until towards the end of the first quarter next year.”
The cancellation of the 2020 itinerary has impacted CWI revenues significantly, forcing the Antigua-based governing body to make reductions in their expenditure.
CWI has not staged an international home series since January when Ireland toured for three One-Day Internationals and T20 Internationals.
Skerritt further said he is enthused that some amount of cricket has restarted in more than half of the territories.
CWI Chief Executive Officer, Johnny Grave, had stated the Regional Four-Day Competition would also be adjusted, with that tournament tentatively set to start just before or at the Easter holidays, after the West Indies host Sri Lanka in March.