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Visa hurdle to India-WI Florida matches

A potential T20 series between India and West Indies in Florida could be scupper by visa requirements IDI/Getty Images

The ability of the West Indies and India teams to get US visas may be the biggest obstacle standing in the way of three T20s being staged between the two sides in Florida next month.

BCCI and WICB officials held further discussions on Thursday afternoon at the Central Broward Regional Park in Lauderhill, site of the six CPL games in Florida beginning on Thursday. A source with knowledge of the discussions said that further progress had been made in coming to an agreement, but several logistical hurdles still needed to be overcome in order for the series to happen in Florida.

The biggest one was the ability to secure visas to play in the USA. According to a source at the stadium, one issue that arose in the meetings was that it may take six weeks for India players to secure visas to get into the USA.

The Central Broward Regional Park is the only ICC-certified ODI standard stadium facility in the USA and the only available dates that have been reserved for potential cricket use at the facility are from August 24-27, with August 28 potentially becoming available if another booking can agree to be moved. Those dates were targeted by both cricket boards to play at the conclusion of the ongoing four-Test series, which is slated to end on August 22 in Trinidad.

Immediate availability beyond that at the stadium is limited due to the stadium's main tenant, theFort Lauderdale Strikers, who play in the North American Soccer League, a second division league below Major League Soccer. The Strikers move into the stadium early next month as their new training base and venue for home games.

The Strikers' upcoming schedule includes home games on August 31, September 3 and September 10, leaving the stadium unavailable for cricket until at least mid-September. India is due to begin a three-Test series at home against New Zealand starting in Kanpur on September 22, making it unrealistic to play the games in the USA then.

Further discussions between the BCCI and WICB will be held over the next few days before a final decision is taken whether to go ahead scheduling the matches.