Whycliffe Dave Cameron, the president of the West Indies Cricket Board, says he expects the selectors to pick the best team “based on eligibility” for the upcoming two-match Twenty20 (T20) International series versus India in Florida, United States.
It was confirmed yesterday that reigning world champions West Indies and 2016 semi-finalists India are scheduled to play on August 27 and 28 at Central Broward Regional Park in Lauderhill.
West Indies, who are the only team to twice lift the World T20 title, are a powerhouse in the game’s shortest format.
But while they generally field their biggest stars in the shortest format, due to varying reasons — including numerous public disputes with the board – a lot of those players have not represented the Test team in recent times.
“The team is always selected by our selectors and our selectors pick the best teams that are available based on eligibility,” Cameron said at yesterday’s press conference at Sabina Park when asked about the quality of the T20 side to take on the Indians.
West Indies and India are currently locked in a four-Test series in the Caribbean. India lead 1-0 and are dominating the second Test with one day to go in the match. Rain is the home side’s main chance of survival.
During the 2016 ICC T20 World Cup in India, West Indies beat the hosts at the semi-final stage before pulling off a dramatic win over England in the final.
The meeting between the two teams is expected to attract a lot of attention in the US and around the world.
The WICB president said the idea of the two-match series in Florida came about when Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) officials met with the WICB in Jamaica “a month or two ago”.
The venue in Lauderhill is the only such International Cricket Council-certified facility in the USA. It held six Caribbean Premier League T20 matches between July 28 and 31, and previously hosted two games between West Indies and New Zealand in 2012.
Millions of Indian immigrants and people of Caribbean descent are believed to be living in the US.
Cameron also noted that as full ICC member, the WICB is charged with overseeing cricket development in the Americas.
“We saw the opportunity with India being in the region at this time. We thought it was a good idea to look at the US market. Bear in mind the West Indies Cricket Board is potentially in charge of the Americas and our job is to develop cricket in the Americas, so we thought it was a good second step [since] we actually did it couple years ago with New Zealand, which we thought was a good enough success.
“We are expecting really and truly at this point a very significant crowd… we contemplate having a number of Indians in the diaspora, and not just Indians, our Caribbean fans, and the entire cricketing world to descend on [Florida] over those two days,” he said.
Tickets for the CPL games in Florida started as low as US $23 and was said to have gone as high as over $200 for VIP-type amenities.
Cameron said prices have not been set as yet, but added that “tickets will at least be in range or higher” than that of the CPL.