Cricket West Indies (CWI) Commercial, Marketing & Communications director Dominic Warne says there is unlikely to be any cricket in the Caribbean for the rest of this year.
Speaking on the Mason & Guest show on Tuesday, Warne said CWI’s priority is to secure as much cricket as possible, with an impending Test series for the men’s squad and the Women’s T20I series against England Women, starting Monday.
“It is something we have been able to do ahead of other organisations,” Warne boasted. “The experience we are building around the ‘bio-secure’ aspect is really strong. But we also have two fundamental issues with the Covid-19 situation changing every day, and with Liat being grounded, it makes (for) us difficult to plan anything.”
Warne said the CWI have envisioned many alternative plans, but the reality surrounding the limitations in movement around the region with the particular Covid restrictions and the current Liat situation combined to prevent any possibility of the Super50 and WI Championship this year.
“Realistically, we will have some away cricket and in 2021 we are looking to have a fairly busy schedule and reschedule a lot into a tight window,” Warne explained, adding, “That’s where a lot of player management will become very important in that the players don’t become worn out and making sure the product is good for the tv and the fans”.
Warne noted that the bigger issue at the moment is the international calendar and what that means for international player availability, with the IPL scheduled to run from October to November, then again in April to May in 2021, occupying a huge window in the calendar.
“Essentially you have removed four months of the year where no team can play international cricket and that is a problem for everyone, even more so for the WI, because economically that April to May window used to be a prime window for us in terms of overseas tours,” Warne pointed out. “When you look at things like that it is one of the things that has got to be resolved. There is a lot of work going on in terms of the ICC... New people involved at the ICC, there’s going to be various selections at the ICC so hopefully there is going to be some good debate.”
He said changing the international calendar for the next three years will probably be tough, with Covid disrupting the calendar and forcing the rescheduling of other international tournaments into a tighter time period.
“The T20 product is a good one and getting the right structure for the emerging talent to come through is actually important as well as the fans love of it,” Warne conceded, “But we also have to be careful that there’s not too much T20 cricket going on just in terms of people’s screens and TVs because people could get tired of a good product very quickly.”
Warne added the CWI will announce a three-year agreement with international wagering company Betway that will pump more money into the CWI coffers and represent a significant increase in investment and that the CWI will host a series of Development and Pathway online courses for coaches in 2021, which for the first time will be delivered by CWI and CWI partners in the region, rather than external support from other cricketing boards.