India to begin West Indies Tests with first match in Antigua
The Indian team will tour the West Indies for seven weeks, starting July 6, for four Tests and two practice matches. The Tests will be played in Antigua and Barbuda, Jamaica, St Lucia and Trinidad and Tobago.
The tour will start with a two-day practice match from July 9 in St Kitts followed by a three-day warm-up match from July 14 at the same venue. The first Test will begin from July 21, the second from July 30, the third from August 9 and the last one from August 18.
Despite the BCCI and WICB confirming the tour more than six months ago, the announcement of the itinerary was delayed owing to the series clashing with the Caribbean Premier League (CPL), which starts from June 30. The WICB was involved in talks with CPL officials to avoid any potential venue clash. The BCCI also sent its general manager MV Sridhar to do a recce of the venues in May.
Head of operations at the West Indies Cricket Board, Roland Holder, said all four venues “are ready to host the visiting Indian team.” The last time the Indian team toured the West Indies was in June 2011 for a three-Test series, which India won 1-0.
Last December, the top brass of the two boards had met in India following which WICB president Dave Cameron had said that the Indian board would honour the four-Test series, listed in the ICC’s Future Tours Programme. The series was in doubt after the BCCI had suspended all bilateral ties immediately after West Indies had pulled out of the India tour mid-way in October 2014.
Last month, former BCCI president Shashank Manohar told ESPNcricinfo that the board had waived off the $41.97 million damages imposed by the previous BCCI administration on the WICB for abandoning the 2014 tour. Manohar had said the WICB had guaranteed West Indies would return to India in 2017 to complete the unfinished matches.
The Indian team is expected to depart for the Caribbean with a new coaching staff, applications for which were advertised by the BCCI on Wednesday. The deadline for receiving the applications is June 10. It will be followed by a screening process to be initially handled by the BCCI, which will then submit a list of names to the soon-to-be-formed cricket advisory committee comprising reputed former players.
That committee will then submit a shortlist back to the BCCI, which will likely discuss this further, if not unveil the new coach, during its working committee meeting in Dharamsala on June 25. A new addition this time in the support staff will be a chef, who has been appointed by the BCCI to mainly cater to the vegetarians in the squad.
|Jul 9-July 10||1st warmup game||Warner Park, St. Kitts|
|July 14-July 16||2nd warmup game||Warner Park, St. Kitts|
|July 21-July 25||1st Test||Sir Viv Richards Stadium, Antigua|
|July 30-Aug 3||2nd Test||Sabina Park, Jamaica|
|Aug 9-Aug 13||3rd Test||Darren Sammy Cricket Stadium , St. Lucia|
|Aug 18-Aug 22||4th Test||Queen’s Park Oval, Trinidad|