Trinidad and Tobago will miss out on hosting any of the three West Indies Tests against England in April next year after the T&T Cricket Board (TTCB) failed to bid for the right to be part of the series.
This was confirmed by WICB CEO Michael Muirhead yesterday who also said that Antigua’s Sir Vivian Richards Stadium, Grenada’s National Stadium and Kensington Oval in Barbados will host the three Tests after all three countries met the requirements of the WICB during the bidding process.
Asked about that process, the WICB CEO said “We had bids from all the venues. There was St Lucia, Jamaica.”
Asked specifically about T&T, Muirhead said: “Trinidad did not vie for it.”
A TTCB director on the West Indies Cricket Board, Baldath Mahabir, told the Express that T&T missed the opportunity to host one of the “lucrative” Tests because they missed the deadline for the bid.
“We could not meet the deadline as it required not only TTCB input but Government input. There were certain inputs from the government. We were willing to do what we could and there were certain governmental requirements that were not forthcoming,” Mahabir said.
Muirhead also noted that Guyana also vied for a Test, “however because of our position with Guyana, we want things to settle down in Guyana first before we put a Test match there,” he added.
“Considerations were for all venues and we never announced anything (previously, contrary to media reports). What we did was because they are very lucrative Tests we made all venues compete for it in commercial sort of terms. We asked the venues to bid on it and they all did and we indicated what was acceptable to us,” Muirhead explained.
“All the three venues agreed to all our terms and that was it,” he added.
Asked about playing England in Antigua, Muirhead said: “We have played many international matches there and there have been no problems and we have been paying greater attention to the pitches in the Caribbean so I see absolutely no problem.”
England will return to the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium in Antigua to play Test cricket for the first time since the abandoned game in 2009.
The venue was banned from staging international cricket for 12 months after the second Test against the West Indies was called off after just ten balls, with concerns raised about safety due to excess sand on the outfield.
England returned to Antigua for three One-day Internationals in February and March.
Paul Downton, managing director England cricket, said: “We thank the West Indies Cricket Board for their assistance with the organisation of the tour.
“We know the venues will prove extremely popular with the thousands of cricket lovers who follow England to the Caribbean. It will also be exciting for many to visit the new venue of Grenada for the first time.”
Calls to the cell phone of TTCB president Azim Bassarath, who is the other TTCB director on the WICB, went unanswered yesterday.
England 2015 tour itinerary:
April 6-7: Warm-up match, St Kitts
April 8-9: Warm-up match, St Kitts
April 13-17: First Test, Sir Vivian Richards Stadium, Antigua
April 21-25: Second Test, Grenada National Stadium, Grenada
May 1-5: Third Test, Kensington Oval, Barbados