PRESIDENT of the TT Cricket Board Azim Bassarath is disappointed that no matches will be held in Trinidad for England’s tour of West Indies in early 2022, saying English touring parties influence where matches are played in the Caribbean.
On Monday, Cricket West Indies (CWI) confirmed the venues for the tour.
Barbados will host all the matches in the five-match T20 series from January 22-30 at Kensington Oval.
England will return to the Caribbean for a three-match Test series bowling off in March.
The first Test will be played from March 8-12 at Sir Vivian Richards Stadium in Antigua, and the second from March 16-20 at Kensington Oval.
The final Test will be at the National Stadium in Grenada from March 24-28.
“Of course I am disappointed that we did not get part of that tour, but I could fully understand why the board awarded the games to Barbados, because Barbados would have bid a very tidy sum for those five T20s,” Bassarath told Newsday.
Barbados is a popular tourist destination and English supporters often outnumber Caribbean fans in the stands at Kensington Oval.
Bassarath said touring parties visiting the Caribbean liaise with CWI and request their preferred destination for cricket.
“Remember, when England come to the Caribbean they are coming with ten and 12,000 people, so there is a collaboration with the tour operators and the West Indies board.
"It is where the tourists want to go. They asked a lot to go to Barbados. They take that into consideration – where the people and the tour operators want to go – and the West Indies board works with that.”
Trinidad and Tobago’s covid19 protocols have been strict compared to those of other Caribbean countries, but Bassarath said that had nothing to do with TT being overlooked for matches in the England tour.
He also said it would have been challenging to host T20 matches in the England tour and Under-19 World Cup matches.
“The (England) games will be played smack in the middle of the Under-19 tournament while we will be hosting (matches) in Trinidad."
The Under-19 2022 Cricket World Cup, which will be held in the Caribbean, clashes with the England Test series, as the youth tournament is expected to be held from January 4-February 3.
Trinidad is one of the host countries with Under-19 matches being played at the Brian Lara Cricket Academy in Tarouba and Queen’s Park Oval in St Clair – the only two international venues in Trinidad.
Bassarath thanked the Government for its support.
“The TT Cricket Board is very happy with the interest that the Government has shown in hosting cricket in TT, and also you will know that the Sport Company of TT had assisted us tremendously in the preparation of the national team for the Super50 Cup (earlier in 2021).”