Test cricket is slated to return to Trinidad and Tobago (T&T) with the fourth and final Test match against India being staged at the Queen’s Park Oval, Port of Spain, from August 19-24.
The T&T government is among four in the region that have decided not to stand in the way of the staging of matches, despite calling for the dissolution of the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB).
T&T’s Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley, who has been vocal in his condemnation of the WICB, has said he will not get in the way of cricket being played here and he has stuck to his word.
The first Test which is expected to get underway mid-July will take place in Antigua, with the second in St. Lucia and the third, Jamaica.
Guyana, who traditionally hosts India because of the large population of East Indians there, will miss out. Instead, one of the three legs of the tri-series involving the West Indies, Australia and South Africa will be played there.
The final dates for the series are yet to be determined but it is expected to take place from mid-July to mid-August which clashes with the Caribbean Premier League T20 tournament.
CARICOM has called for the dissolution of the WICB and there were concerns as to whether the respective governments would support matches in the Islands. The WICB has stood firm and has received backing from the International Cricket Council (ICC) to keep control of the game in the region.
When the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) decided to resume bi-lateral relations and honour their tour FTP obligations with a tour of the Caribbean, the WICB wrote to the governments seeking permission to host matches in their territory.
The T&T Guardian Media understands that the matches will be played in the four countries but the dates are yet to be determined. The BCCI has not ratified the dates and they are still playing around with the dates provided by the WICB.
The regional body had originally proposed that the tour take place between July 5 and August 10 but this was thrown out the window by the Indians. The BCCI recently decided to forgive a debt of US$41.97M owed by the WICB, as a consequence of the aborted tour of India in 2014. The WICB has agreed to tour India in 2017 to finish the aborted tour by the Dwayne Bravo-led team after a payment structure dispute with the WICB.(T&T Guardian)