Trinidad Guardian:- The West Indies and India will be hoping to meet for two Twenty20 (T20) Internationals on American soil in late August but it now hinges on whether the two bodies can convince the American Immigration Authorities to expedite visas for the players involved.
CEO of the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB), Michael Muirhead and Commercial manager Nelicia Yeates were present at Broward Cricket Stadium in the company of Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) representative MV Shridar and officials of Broward County on Thursday ironing out details for two prospective clashes on August 27 and 28.
Muirhead said, “We have been meeting and we are very interested in having the matches. At this point in time it all depends on visa arrangements being in place on time. You know that these things take time, it actually takes six weeks to have the work visa in place but we are trying. There is already a move in place to get the visas worked on, so at this point we are hoping. We will be in a better position next week to make a formal announcement.”
India is currently touring the West Indies for a series of four Test matches. They won the first in Antigua last week by an innings and 92 runs and today, they begin the second in Jamaica.
It is understood that the BCCI has already given the names of their players hoping to make their T20 squad for the matches, to the Indian Consulate in Jamaica. The WICB has already put in place an arrangement to get visas for their players for the matches.
The WICB will also apply to the International Cricket Council (ICC) to host the two matches at Broward, the only ICC recognised venue in North America. This is not a problem as the ICC recently approved six matches at the venue for the ongoing Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL) T20 tournament.
Yeates, Muirhead and WICB cricket operations manager Roland Holder were seen checking the facilities and giving their recommendations on what will be required to successfully stage the matches. The BCCI is looking at the opportunity of having the Indian diaspora from all over the US fly in for the matches and one of their concerns is the capacity of the stadium.
It currently stands at 12,000 but they would like it increased by a further 10,000. That seems no problems as the authorities here have easily brought in temporary facilities like the VIP Stand for the current CPL matches.
The matches are likely to be played on the weekend of August 26 and 27 to facilitate the fans coming in for a cricket extravaganza, which could prove to be very beneficial financially for both the WICB and the BCCI. The matches are also likely to be played at 10 am on each day to give viewers in India prime time entertainment at 7.30 pm.