TT is tipped to host group and plate matches in the 2022 International Cricket Council (ICC) Under-19 Cricket World Cup with the Queen’s Park Oval and Brian Lara Cricket Academy among the venues carded to welcome the future international stars.
Caribbean countries started bidding to host matches earlier this year.
According to a Cricket West Indies (CWI) media release in March, countries have been required to demonstrate their ability to stage the matches by providing adequate match and training facilities, undergo a venue inspection, provide immigration, customs, medical and security support, as well as other operational and logistical requirements including accommodation for the members of the teams, match officials and broadcast crew.
On Wednesday, a TT Cricket Board official told Newsday, “I think what we getting is a group stage, which is the preliminaries - they offered us that and I think the plate…that is what I have heard.”
Another source also said TT is expected to get group stage and plate matches. “That is most likely what we are going to get. We can’t get both (the super league and the plate) because they are clashing and we won’t have enough facilities.”
The tournament will feature 16 teams competing over a one-month period. This is the first time West Indies will host the event with players competing in 64 matches in the 50-over format.
The teams will battle for one of the eight spots in the Super League stage before having the chance to win the Under-19 World Cup. The remaining eight teams will fight for the Under-19 Cricket World Cup Plate which will determine the teams finishing between ninth and 16th place.
The tournament, set to bowl off in early 2022, will earn millions in revenue for the region. The CWI media release said over 75 million people will watch the tournament and will inject an estimated US$10 million into the economy of each host nation.
Queen’s Park Oval in St Clair and Brian Lara Cricket Academy in Tarouba are expected to host matches. Three other venues in Trinidad are being targeted to host training sessions or possibly matches including Sir Frank Worrell Ground at the University of the West Indies (UWI) St Augustine campus, Diego Martin Regional Sporting Complex and National Cricket Centre in Couva.
The Government will be hoping the covid19 pandemic improves as, in 2021, no major sporting events have been held in TT. The national men’s football team did not get permission to host any 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifying matches in TT and several other local sporting events have been cancelled or postponed.
West Indies have won the Under-19 tournament once before, in February, 2016 when they beat India in the final in Dhaka, Bangladesh. That team included many players who are now part of the West Indies senior set-up including the pace trio of Alzarri Joseph, Chemar Holder, Keemo Paul, and batsman Shimron Hetmyer, who was the Under-19 captain.