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Oval Test in danger
Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley’s recent rift with the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) has left uncertainty surrounding the staging of the third Test match against India at the Queen’s Park Oval.
The Indians are carded to tour the West Indies from July 14 to August 11 for a series of four Tests with the third scheduled for T&T from July 28 to August 1.
However, officials at the WICB believe that Dr Rowley’s recent calls for the dissolution of the organistion, could signal that his government will not be supporting the Test being played in Trinidad.
Following the Caricom Heads of government meeting in Belize three weeks ago, Dr Rowley noted the deterioration of West Indies cricket and its lack of proper management. He said this was discussed by Caricom Heads and based on these discussions, it was felt that there was nothing more to gain from talks with the WICB.
WICB officials say that this statement is certain to be on Dr Rowley’s mind when the local T&T Cricket Board attempts to hold negotiations with the government to stage the Test.
“Given all that the prime minister has said, it seems impossible to believe that he will support the match being staged at the Queen’s Park Oval. Once they do not support it, there is no way that a Test can be staged in T&T,” one official explained.
Last week, president of the WICB, Dave Cameron communicated with the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and it was agreed that four Test matches will be played. The WICB wanted three Test matches and three ODIs but the BCCI insisted on keeping it to Test matches.
The WICB asked for the One-dayers since they felt this would attract big crowds and bring out the fans.
Unofficially, the first Test match will be played in St Lucia, while the second is scheduled for Antigua the third in Trinidad with the fourth in Jamaica.
“The WICB felt that some ODIs would have been a great investment to attract large crowds, but the BCCI rejected those discussions.”
President of the T&T Cricket Board (TTCB) Azim Bassarath said that he is confident that government will support the cricket coming to T&T, so that fans can look forward to seeing the Indians play here.
India, with its cadre of young talent led by Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma is currently second on ther ICC rankings for Test crickert behind Australia.