England ODIs to commemorate historic achievements

ST JOHN’S, Antigua- Antigua & Barbuda’s hosting of three One Day International (ODI) matches between the visiting England cricket team and the West Indies senior team between February 28 and March 5 of next year, will coincide with the 40th anniversary of the country’s first international cricketer and will also mark the setting of two records by one former captain.

This is according to WICB Corporate Communications Manager Imran Khan who said the matches were awarded to Antigua after the government had made a compelling case to those in charge of scheduling.

“Next year will mark the 40th anniversary of the first Antiguan to have played Test cricket in Andy Roberts; the 20th anniversary of Brian Lara having broken the world record for the first time in Antigua and the 10th anniversary of him having broken the world record for the second time and there are some celebratory events that have been planned for those milestones,” he said.

“As a result of that, a request was made to have part of the England tour of the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) played here in Antigua and obviously it was looked upon very favourably by the IFC and the Board itself and the decision was taken to play those three one-day matches here.”

WICB, according to Khan, will soon be rolling out a number of promotions geared towards drumming up interest ahead of the first ODI.

“We will have since very interesting ticketing promotions going into Christmas which is mainly two for one – buy one get one free,” the communications manager said.

“So all those early birds who like to get their tickets early will benefit in a very significant way, so look out for that because it will be coming up in a few very short weeks and I will surely be back on the programme.”

Asked for a progress update pertaining to WICB’s efforts in assisting the Leeward Islands Cricket Board (LICA) with regularising its operations, Khan said this is progressing as expected.

“I know that a couple of meetings were scheduled with a number of officials to gather information and I know they are putting together their final report so that could form part of which the WICB makes any decision that it has to make with regards to LICA; but I do believe that elections are scheduled for next month and I believe that once those are held that a significant step forward will be taken, so we look forward to that,” Khan said.

Windies will take on England in the first of three matches on February 28 before returning on March 2 and 5 for two other ODIs. All matches here will be played at Sir Vivian Richards Cricket Grounds.

The teams will then travel to Barbados where they will play three Twenty20 matches on March 9, 11 and 13 at Kensington Oval.

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