Fri | Apr 23, 2021

CWI considering Jamaica for home series

Published:Monday | January 18, 2021 | 12:07 AMDaniel Wheeler/Staff Reporter
Sabina Park, Kingston, the home of international cricket in Jamaica.
Sabina Park, Kingston, the home of international cricket in Jamaica.
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Cricket West Indies (CWI) Chief Executive Officer Johnny Grave says that the return to international cricket in the region for 2021 could involve Jamaica.

As the West Indies prepare to start their tour of Bangladesh with the first of three One-Day Internationals (ODIs) in Dhaka on Wednesday, the CWI is busy determining the locations for home matches this year. The COVID-19 pandemic led to no regional tours in 2020, with the West Indies team instead resuming international cricket travel to England and New Zealand. Grave says that the first home series against Sri Lanka in March is scheduled to take place in Antigua and St Lucia ‘subject to government approval’.

JAMAICA INCLUDED IN OVERALL PLAN

Grave says though that CWI has every intention of including Jamaica as part of the over plan for home series this year after their recent away spell.

“We certainly expect, and hope to host West Indies international matches in Jamaica this year,” Grave told The Gleaner.

As part of the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) Future Tours Programme, the West Indies are to host Australia and Pakistan, but Grave says the CWI intends to host South Africa as well this year. The initial tour between the Windies and the ‘Proteas’, originally planned for last July, was postponed because of the virus.

In light of Sport Minister Olivia Grange and Health Minister Christopher Tufton’s recent commitment to a safe resumption of sports, Jamaica Cricket Association (JCA) President Wilford Heaven says that it will put together a proposal for the resumption of international cricket.

Heaven says that based on a preliminary itinerary, the country is expected to host Australia and South Africa for a series of Twenty20 International matches and a Test match based on the protocols already being assessed for the return of local competitions.

“What we intend to do is to pull from that protocol and develop a separate one to deal with, specifically, each of the tours that we expect to come here,” Heaven said. “We will be working withthe CWI on that, in collaboration with the Government, [and] will be seeking approval for those two [tours], separate and apart from our own roll-out of cricket in the Jamaican market.”

While training has been approved, local competitions have still not been authorised for the country. While he acknowledges that the pandemic requires constant vigilance, Heaven says that the recent announcement of support from both the sport and health ministries has raised his optimism for cricket, both international and domestic, to return this year.

Regional cricket is expected to return next month with the staging of the Super 50 Cup tournament in Antigua. The JCA already announced the Jamaica Scorpions 15-man squad, which is expected to arrive in Antigua on February 4.

daniel.wheeler@gleanerjm.com