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By Neto Baptiste

Antigua and Barbuda stands to benefit from a number of international cricket tours and other initiatives being planned by Cricket West Indies (CWI).

This is according to Minister of Sports Daryll Matthew, who said the game’s regional governing body recently met with government officials, including top health officials, in an effort to better plot the way forward.

“Cricket West Indies met with Cabinet yesterday [Wednesday] in the presence of the Chief Medical Officer, Dr Rhonda Sealy Thomas, and it was agreed that a small committee would be put in place to oversee not only the protocols for the Super 50 but we have a very interesting and packed year of cricket coming up in 2021 once we are able to get the protocols right,” he said.

“We have the Super 50, we have the Sri Lanka tour and there is someone coming later in the year. We have a tournament that we are collaborating with Cricket West Indies to do as part of our 40th anniversary of Independence that would involve some overseas teams so there is a packed itinerary that we are looking at for 2021,” he added. 

Sri Lanka are scheduled to tour the Caribbean running February through March next year playing two Tests, three ODIs and three T20 International matches. They will be followed by Australia from June to July for three ODIs and 3 T20 Internationals.

Pakistan will then tour the West Indies from July to August playing three Tests and three T20 International matches.

Matthew said the government has moved to ensure that the country, as the hub for West Indies cricket, benefits as much as possible.

“We are ensuring that we capitalize on all cricket that could possibly become available. The women’s team as well, their base is here in Antigua and so a small team is being out in place that should meet in the coming days to iron out what the protocols are going to be,” the minister said.

“West Indies cricket, they have a very strong and good medical team and being a part of the international cricket fraternity they must have one and we have been part of several overseas tours, one of which just concluded in New Zealand and so international cricket has an understanding of what is required to keep players safe in a jurisdiction so we will be looking to capitalize on that experience,” he added.

CWI will also host a senior women’s cricket camp here at the Coolidge Cricket Ground in January with the Regional Super 50 starting soon after.