India to start in Antigua and end in Jamaica

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The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) had announced a four-Test series in July-August but no details have come from either board. But we can tell you that the two boards have formally agreed upon the venues, if not the dates as yet.

According to information coming from the Caribbean, the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium in Antigua will be the venue for the first Test with Darren Sammy National Stadium hosting the second Test. This was previously called the Beausejour Stadium, which is situated near Gros Islet, St Lucia.

The third Test will be played at Queen’s Park Oval, the oldest and the largest stadium in the West Indies. The ground in Port of Spain, incidentally is one of the luckiest grounds for India in the islands.

The fourth and final Test will be at Sabina Park in Jamaica, the home ground of Chris Gayle, although there is no guarantee if the hard-hitting opener will play at all.

The venues were finalised during a meeting between a BCCI recce team and WICB officials yesterday. The two-member recce team led by BCCI general manager MV Sridhar has been camping in the West Indies, inspecting the venues and hotels. The dates have not yet been finalised but the first Test in Antigua should start around July 20-21.

Virat Kohli
Virat Kohli

Sridhar could not be reached for a comment but a WICB official confirmed to this paper about the venues. A couple of tour games are being planned but the WICB official said there is no information if there will be one in between the Tests.

It will be the first tour to the Caribbean for Virat Kohli as skipper but he has played Tests in the West Indies. Kohli, who has played 41 Tests so far, in fact, debuted in Kingston, Jamaica, in June 2011.

As has been reported, the Test series will clash with Caribbean Premier League (CPL), the West Indies’ own version of IPL, and the pitches are unlikely to be as bouncy as they used to be in the past.(Mumbai Mirror)

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