Cricket West Indies says it will face a logistical nightmare in rescheduling its international home series if the coronavirus pandemic results in a disruption to these fixtures.
Of main concern for the governing body is the three-match One-Day International series against New Zealand which is part of the qualification process for the 2023 World Cup, and the two-Test rubber against South Africa which forms part of the World Test Championship.
Both series have been carded for July but have been placed in jeopardy by the coronavirus which has now hit the Caribbean and forced CWI to cancel the remainder of its first-class competition. “The challenge with rescheduling is that the schedule is [already] so tight,” CWI chief executive Johnny Grave told CMC Sports.
West Indies are scheduled to face New Zealand in a three-match ODI series in July. “The other challenge that we’d have is those ODIs we’re playing against New Zealand and the Test matches against South Africa are part of leagues.
“We’re now in the Test championship and the games against New Zealand in the ODI format are the first games we’re playing in the ODI league which obviously now is the qualifying process for the 2023 Cricket World Cup.
“You would have to try and re-prioritise replaying those in order to keep the integrity of those tournaments – particularly the ODI qualification for the Cricket World Cup.”
The ODI series against New Zealand runs from July 8-13, with the first two matches set for the Vivian Richards Cricket Ground in Antigua and the last one scheduled for Windsor Park in Dominica.
Following the ODIs, the two teams clash in a three-match Twenty20 series in Dominica and Guyana from July 15-19. South Africa arrive later in the month for Tests at Queen’s Park Oval in Trinidad from July 23-27 and the Darren Sammy Cricket Ground in St Lucia from July 31 to August 4.
A five-match T20 series will then follow from August 8-16, with the first two matches in Florida, United States and the last three at Sabina Park in Jamaica.
While Grave remained hopeful, he conceded there was much uncertainty surrounding the upcoming fixtures as it was difficult to determine the extent of the impact from the pandemic. “It would be a big challenge trying to reschedule them but we are looking ahead,” he said. “Again, no one knows quite how long this pandemic will last or how far it will spread.”
The spread of the virus has so far disrupted the international cricket schedule with England pulling out of the two-Test tour of Sri Lanka, India scrapping their ongoing ODI tour of South Africa, and Australia and New Zealand also calling off their limited overs series Down Under. Organisers of the lucrative Indian Premier League have also delayed the start of the tournament and say it could face further disruption.