By Neto Baptiste
President of the Antigua and Barbuda Cricket Association (ABCA), Leon Rodney, has welcomed news that Antigua and Barbuda will host the semifinals and final of the ICC Under-19 Cricket World Cup slated to run from January 15 to February 5 in the Caribbean.
Rodney labelled the country’s hosting of both stages of the tournament as a “good thing”, reminding that right after the under-19s the country will host the first Test of the Richards-Botham Trophy series between England and the West Indies.
“You would have eight teams coming into Antigua because if I read the schedule correct there will be matches in the final eight which would encompass the quarterfinals and so forth, so it’s a good thing for us. After that we will have England and they should be around here for just a little over two weeks which would encompass the first Test match and a four-day warm up game, so it’s good for Antigua,” he said.
However, although the Under-19 World Cup is an international event that will be viewed by millions across the world, Rodney said he is looking forward to the Richards-Botham Test as he expects the local body to derive more benefits from that match.
“The local board is the one who manages the game on behalf of CWI, so there are management teams involved. A big Test match like England, obviously you have some tickets that you can package and they can be sold, so there is some or a reasonable level of income there and especially when you have a team like England and not to hide that all the vendors’ fees go to the local association,” he said.
The first Test of the England vs West Indies series will bowl off here at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium on March 8 next year. The series will host five Twenty20s and three Tests between January and March.
The first five-match T20 series between the two sides will be played at the Kensington Oval in Barbados between 22 and 30 January.
They will then compete for the newly created Richards-Botham trophy after West Indies return from their white-ball tour of India in February.