The Barbados Cricket Association (BCA) has pulled off a major coup in having five matches played in Barbados during next year’s England tour to the Caribbean.
England tours have traditionally been the most lucrative for the region and a prime tourism boost with thousands of Britons converging on the islands in support of their team. England will be in the Caribbean in early January and their itinerary includes one Test, two One-Day Internationals and two warm-up games in Barbados. This is the first time that a senior English touring team will have 12 playing days of cricket in Barbados.
Speaking to Barbados TODAY BCA President Conde Riley said he was quite pleased with the development and stressed that in addition to the actual cricket that would be played it would be a significant boost for Barbados’ tourism product. He said the spin-off for restaurants, hotels, nightclubs, vendors, taxi operators and other players in the tourism industry would be substantial as it had been in the past.
Riley said this volume of cricket in Barbados would not have been possible without the cooperation and certain commitments from the Barbados Government. He said the BCA had been lobbying for Barbados to play a major part as hosts for the England tour and he was delighted at the response from the Government. He added this was unlike what had previously occurred that led to Barbados missing out on the imminent ICC Women’s World Cup in November. Those matches are to be played exclusively in Antigua, St Lucia and Antigua and Barbuda.
“Obviously, we are very pleased to have this volume of cricket in Barbados. We all know how significant England touring the region is. In addition to the international matches, there will be practice matches leading up to both the Test match and the One-Day Internationals. We have had positive assistance from Government and we are really satisfied with where we at with respect to the tour in January,” Riley said.
Last year the Freundel Stuart administration came in for heavy criticism from several quarters for not assisting the BCA in its bid to secure Women’s World Cup matches. Then Opposition Leader and current Prime Minister Mia Mottley had described that development as “shameful” while noting that Barbados’ failure to play a part in hosting the Women’s World Cup could translate into a potential loss of millions of dollars in tourism and other revenue.
England’s tour of the Caribbean next year will be their biggest tour of the region in a decade, comprising of three Test matches, five One Day Internationals and three Twenty20 Internationals.
During the two-month tour Antigua and St. Lucia will join Barbados in hosting the three Test matches, while Barbados, Grenada and St Lucia will share the One Day Internationals and St. Lucia and St. Kitts will host the Twenty20 Internationals.
With the recently announced ICC Future Tours Programme for 2019-2023, this will be the last three-format England Tour to the Caribbean for the foreseeable future.
The teams will once again contest the Wisden Trophy, with England having won the last series 2-1 last year in England, while the Windies will also be seeking to overcome a 12-year series losing streak against England in the One-Day International match-ups.
Chief Executive Officer of Cricket West Indies Johnny Grave said every effort was being made to ensure the series was a successful one.
“England coming to the region is always a special occasion for cricket fans and we are pulling out all the stops for a successful series on and off the field.
“West Indies fans create a unique spectator atmosphere and not only do England fans add to this, they bring in a significant tourism boost to the region as thousands will travel here to enjoy the cricket and experience the unique Caribbean culture and hospitality,” Grave said.
Cricket West Indies president Dave Cameron also thanked the regional governments that invested their resources, saying that they “recognize the economic impact the tour will have on their respective countries.”
While England are currently ranked number one in One-Day Internationals, West Indies – ranked ninth – just about managed to scrape through to the 2019 World Cup as the tenth team. The five-match series against England could most likely be the final bilateral One-Day International series for both teams before the mega tournament kicks off in May next year. (WG/Cricbuzz)
Itinerary: January 15 – 18: Practice match, The Three Ws Oval, Barbados
January 23 – 27: 1st Test, Kensington Oval, Barbados
January 31 – February 4: 2nd Test, Sir Vivian Richards Stadium, Antigua
February 9 – 13: 3rd Test, Darren Sammy National Cricket Stadium, St Lucia
February 17: 50-over Practice match, The Three Ws Oval, Barbados
February 20: 1st ODI, Kensington Oval, Barbados
February 22: 2nd ODI, Kensington Oval, Barbados
February 25: 3rd ODI, National Cricket Stadium, Grenada
February 27: 4th ODI, National Cricket Stadium, Grenada
March 2: 5th ODI, Daren Sammy National Cricket Stadium, St Lucia
March 5: 1st T20I, Daren Sammy National Cricket Stadium, St Lucia
March 8: 2nd T20I, Warner Park, St Kitts
March 10: 3rd T20I, Warner Park, St Kitts