TRINIDAD and Tobago has been named among seven Caribbean countries to host matches at next year's International Cricket Council (ICC) T20 Cricket World Cup which is being jointly hosted by the West Indies and the US.
An ICC release also confirmed Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Dominica, Guyana, St Lucia and St Vincent and the Grenadines as the other Caribbean hosts. Dallas, Florida and New York have also been announced as hosts for the marquee T20 competition which will run from June 4-20, 2024.
ICC CEO Geoff Allardice said he is excited about the staging of the biggest-ever World Cup.
"We're delighted to announce the seven Caribbean venues that will host the biggest ICC Men’s T20 World Cup ever staged, with 20 teams competing for the trophy. They’re all popular venues with players and fans alike that will provide a wonderful backdrop to the event," Allardice said.
"This will be the third ICC senior men’s event hosted by the West Indies, and the matches will again give cricket fans the unique experience of enjoying cricket in the Caribbean. I'd like to thank Cricket West Indies (CWI) and the seven host governments for their continued commitment and support of our sport."
West Indies won the T20 World Cup on two occasions (2012 and 2016). However, the regional team failed to qualify for the 2022 edition and were knocked out of the 2021 T20 World Cup at the Super 12s stage.
CWI CEO Johnny Grave said it's an "exciting moment" for the region.
"We are grateful to the host governments of the Caribbean for their overwhelming responses and enthusiasm for hosting what will be the most significant sporting event held in our region for a generation," Grave said.
"We are confident that together we will deliver a world-class tournament showcasing the best this region has to offer with our unique culture and carnival atmosphere that will ensure there is a real celebration of the sport next June."
In an immediate reaction to the developments, TT Cricket Board (TTCB) first vice president Arjoon Ramlal said TT was proud to be hosting a major ICC event once again.
"We feel proud to be named as one of the countries hosting T20 World Cup matches. We feel confident that we will be able to showcase TT to the rest of the world in a very positive way," Ramlal told Newsday.
"We are confident about the administrative and organisational ability of the personnel here to host such a mega event," he said. "We did it in 2007 by hosting matches in the 50-over World Cup. We look forward to it and we embrace it as an opportunity – not only for us – but for all of TT."
The number of games TT will host at next year's World Cup has not been disclosed. However, Ramlal says he's confident matches can be held at both the Queen's Park Oval in St Clair and at the Brian Lara Cricket Academy (BLCA) in Tarouba.
"We have two international venues in the Queen's Park Oval and the Brian Lara Cricket Academy. "The more the merrier for us.
"A lot of the internationals who have played at those venues like both venues. Even the new venue Brian Lara Cricket Academy has got a certain positive vibe from people."
Both the Queen's Park Oval and the BLCA have become a staple in the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) in its 11 years of existence. The Queen's Park Oval hosted the inaugural CPL final between Jamaica Tallawahs and Guyana Amazon Warriors in 2013, to go along with the 2015 finale. The BLCA hosted four consecutive CPL finals from 2017-2020.
"It will be a big advertisement of this twin-island republic on the global stage," Ramlal said. "We will do our best to ensure we deliver world-class standards in whatever we do."
Fifteen of the 20 World Cup teams have already been confirmed, with the Americas, Asia and Africa qualifiers set to determine the remaining five spots in the coming months.
England are the defending T20 World Cup champions. England and WI are the only teams with multiple T20 World Cup titles.