St. Kitts to be Included in New Zealand Series?

The tour of the Caribbean is due to commence on Thursday 28th June, consisting of three Tests, 5 ODIs and 2 T20 matches.

However, according to the Minister of Sport for St. Kitts, Mr. Glenn Phillip, during a radio interview on Sunday 4th March, Warner Park in St Kitts will host three ODIs on July 11th, 14th and 16th.

He said, once the West Indies Cricket Board approves the draft schedule of the 2012 New Zealand tour of the Caribbean, international cricket will continue at the island’s main sporting venue. When checked the official website of the West Indies Cricket Board on Monday and a few other sources, no itinerary had yet been posted but there was indication of the broad dates for the tour, with no mention of venues. However, other news sources though have also provided information that supports what Phillip has indicated.

In a release issued last week, following a meeting of the WICB, it was indicated that the committee responsible, had already submitted a draft itinerary, but release of this was being withheld, pending input from the West Indies Players Association, WIPA.

There is no doubt that St. Kitts and Nevis deserves to be included in the itinerary and the government deserves all commendation for any role they would have played to make this possible, but some are questioning the timing of the Minister’s release, wondering if he spoke out of step with the protocol relating to the formal announcement. Did he jump the gun, some are asking?

Even if he did, this is good news for St. Kitts and Nevis, where cricket fans were very disappointed when it was realized that Warner Park was not included on the itinerary for the tour to the Caribbean by Australia, which is due to start in a matter of weeks.

The West Indies New Zealand series is set to begin with two Twenty20s scheduled for 30th June and 1st July, and will be played at the Central Broward Regional Park Stadium in Florida. Then the first two ODIs will be played at Sabina Park in Jamaica, before moving to St. Kitts where the final three ODIs of the series will be played, (from 11th July to 16th) before playing a two Test series with matches in Antigua and Jamaica respectively.

Warner Park first hosted international cricket in 2006 with the tour of the Indians and that was followed the following year when the venue was used for the ICC Cricket World Cup, hosting Australia, South Africa, Scotland and the Netherlands.

In 2010 the stadium was also used to host the first round of matches in the Women’s World Cup. Other countries that have played against the West Indies here included Bangladesh and Pakistan.

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