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Oval Test for Indians
Local fans will finally see a Test match between India and the West Indies at the Queen’s Park Oval, after a 14-year wait.
According to reliable sources, the first Test of the upcoming four-match series between the countries will be played at the Port-of-Spain venue from July 5-9. The last time the Indians played Test cricket in Trinidad was in 2002, despite being in the Caribbean up to 2011.
The last 14 months have seen intense negotiations between the respective Boards, following an aborted tour to India by a Dwayne Bravo led Caribbean team in October 2014. The Indians suffered severe financial losses of US$41.9 million and cut ties with West Indies cricket.
However, following continuous talks, the two Boards have resumed ties, leading to the upcoming series.
The BCCI will now send their team, which is expected to include several of their superstars, led by Virat Kohli. The WICB is expected to reciprocate by sending a team to India to play three Tests later in the year.
President of the T&T Cricket Board (TTCB) Azim Bassarath confirmed that the opening Test will be played in Port of Spain. “The WICB’s scheduling committee is expected to confirm the position but we are to get the opening Test match here. Originally we were to get the third Test but that has changed.”
The second Test is expected to be played from July 15 to 19 in Antigua, with the third match going to St Lucia from July 28 to August 1. The final match will be played in Jamaica from August 6 to 10.
Asked if the countries have to bid for matches, Bassarath said: “No the board has decided against that for the India series. The scheduling committee has put together something in terms of where the matches will be played and the normal bidding process will be out for this tour.”
The Indian series is expected to clash with the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) T20 tournament, which will be played around the region from June 29 to August 7.
Prior to the CPL and the India series, the West Indies will play host to Australia and South Africa for a tri-nation series, involving 50-over matches.