Officials from the BCCI are due to meet with members of the WICB in Florida on Wednesday and Thursday to discuss the possibility of staging a series of T20 internationals at the Central Broward Regional Park in Florida next month.
According to Duncan Finch, Broward Parks & Recreation Manager, WICB officials contacted him to discuss the availability for potentially hosting two-three T20Is in Florida at the conclusion of the ongoing four-Test series between West Indies and India, which is scheduled to end in Trinidad on August 22.
“We had an email inquiring about late-August availability of the stadium by representatives of the WICB last week,” Finch told ESPNcricinfo. “We have August 24 to 27, and they were asking about Sunday, August 28, as well. We would have to cancel a small event to give them the Sunday.”
Sources have also confirmed to ESPNcricinfo that the WICB has reached out to the ICC for sanctioning permission to host the games in the USA. In 2012, the West Indies board had to go through the USA Cricket Association as the home governing body in America to receive approval to play two T20Is against New Zealand. That power, however, was stripped from USACA as part of the ICC’s decision to suspend the American board in June 2015. If an agreement can be reached, these would be the first Full Member matches in the USA since that 2012 series.
The Florida facility will host six Caribbean Premier League games between July 28 and 31. The USA national team is also due to hold selection trial matches from August 1 to 3 to help finalise a 14-man squad for WCL Division Four in October. The square itself only contains four pitches, two of which are being used as center practice wickets for the CPL and the other two reserved for the six CPL matches, which could pose a challenge in terms of making sure there is a wicket prepared to a suitable standard at the stadium should an agreement be reached between the BCCI and WICB.
While no other cricket is scheduled to be held there until November, the facility is regularly rented out to FC Barcelona, who conducted a series of camps at the facility immediately prior to the CPL. The Fort Lauderdale Strikers, a second division US soccer franchise, also recently signed a contract to make the Central Broward Regional Park their new home stadium and training facility.
The Strikers’ first game at the CBRP is August 20 with the next fixture after that scheduled for August 31. Though the cricket square was dug up three years ago and moved 20 yards north to protect it from being damaged by soccer use, the Strikers games could pose problems for maintaining the outfield, which was in poor condition following the FC Barcelona camps in late June and early July. CBRP ground staff have worked around the clock over the past week to improve the state of the outfield leading into the CPL games beginning on Thursday. (ESPNcricinfo)
Peter Della Penna is ESPNcricinfo’s USA correspondent.