‘Scheduling clashes’ lead to tour cancellation
ST JOHN’S, Antigua (CMC):
The West Indies Under-19 tour of England has been scrapped due to “scheduling clashes”, Cricket West Indies said yesterday.
Neither CWI nor the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) blamed the coronavirus pandemic currently sweeping the globe but said rather that the regional squad would not be available for the proposed tour window from August 16 to September 3.
Attempts by the ECB to find alternative scheduling options and alternative opposition also proved unsuccessful.
CWI director of cricket Jimmy Adams noted that the cancellation was unfortunate but said that the board would continue to pay special attention to the age group.
“CWI and the ECB have agreed to cancel a proposed Under-19 tour of the UK due to scheduling issues,” said the former West Indies Test captain.
“The situation is an unfortunate one as we had planned for the tour to be the end of a two-year development cycle for this group of Under-19 players.
This tour to the UK, added to the recent World Cup in January, and the Tri-Series that we hosted in December of last year, would have given this cohort an excellent competitive component to cap their two-year Under-19 programme.”
He continued: “That said, we will continue to follow up on the cohort, especially those not contracted to franchises, through our Emerging Player programme, which has so far facilitated many of our upcoming players who fall in the 19-23 category.
“Thankfully, while the tour to the UK will not proceed this year, the ECB are committed to hosting our Under-19s at a mutually convenient time in the future.”
West Indies Under-19s were scheduled to play two youth Tests, three one-day matches, and a Twenty20 against England Under-19s, following on from their campaign at the World Cup in South Africa earlier this year.
Last year, England Under-19s toured West Indies for a Tri-Series tournament involving eventual champions Sri Lanka Under-19s.
The ECB said that the decision to cancel the tournament had been a difficult one to make, especially following the success of their side’s campaign in the Caribbean last year when they reached the final.
“Cancelling the summer programme for our Under-19 side is not an easy decision to take, but with it not having been possible to identify a window for the tour that works for both boards – and in the current climate – it is certainly the most appropriate step,” said Mo Bobat, ECB performance director
“Our young players benefit greatly from these competitive matches against their peers from around the world not just in preparation for the biennial Under-19 World Cups, but also to prepare them for the rigours of international cricket.
“The squad learnt a lot from their Tri-Series in Antigua in December 2019, so we look forward to welcoming the West Indians back to the UK in the future.”
West Indies Under-15s were also scheduled to tour the UK during the summer, but the series was cancelled due to the outbreak of COVID-19.