Cricket West Indies finds itself in the middle of a very confusing scenario just hours after the BCCI announced their schedule for the home season. The BCCI confirmed that New Zealand, West Indies and Sri Lanka will be touring India, and almost instantly it was noticed that the West Indies have zero breathing space between their series against England and India.
England will be touring West Indies starting from 29th January next year, to play five T20Is. The tour is scheduled to finish with the final T20I being played on 5th February. However, in the schedule announced by India, it was mentioned that the West Indies will play the opening ODI game of this tour in Ahmedabad on 6th February, making it mathematically and logically impossible for their main side to feature in two different games, albeit in different formats.
There is a possibility that both the boards involve might sleep on this for now and discuss a little change. If not, the West Indies might have to send a different group of players to India on time for the first ODI, whilst another set of them will be in the Caribbean Islands to play England. With covid regulations and bio-bubbles coming into picture, this chaotic scheduling only adds more confusion.
As it turns out, even the Indian schedule looks claustrophobically cramped, with the T20 World Cup final scheduled on November 14th in UAE, whilst the first game of the home season begins three days later, on 17th November. Whilst it is given that India will have to pull out their best game to reach the final and make the scheduling even more complicated, this morbid cramping of Cricket into their schedules isn’t receiving a positive response from the fans.
Here’s what Guardian journalist Ali Martin had to say about this scheduling.
West Indies scheduled to play an ODI in Ahmedabad (Feb 6) the day after their fifth T20 versus what will be an England side minus any Ashes players (Feb 5). The sardine tin that is the international schedule… https://t.co/L1qfXkfdnV
— Ali Martin (@Cricket_Ali) September 20, 2021
West Indies keen on retaining the T20 World Cup
The schedules announced by BCCI and Cricket West Indies are a clear indication that both teams are desperate to win the T20 World Cup, which incidentally for the first time since 2009 and 2010, will be organized in two consecutive years. West Indies enter the 2021 edition as the defending champions, having made a resounding statement of authority in this format in 2016.
Kieron Pollard will be leading the Caribbean unit in this edition of the tournament, and potentially in the next one as well, which will happen in Australia in 2022.