England in West Indies 2013-14

WI plans could irk Barmy Army

ESPNcricinfo staff

March 12, 2014

Comments: 42 | Text size: A | A

The Kensington Oval bears a party atmosphere, Barbados Tridents v Trinidad & Tobago Red Steel, Caribbean Premier League, Bridgetown, August 3, 2013
England fans might have to forego scenes like this in Barbados in 2015 © Getty Images

A battle looks likely to break out within the Caribbean cricketing community after it emerged that several traditional venues could miss out on hosting England Tests next year. The matter is already being discussed in the highest levels of government.

ESPNcricinfo understands that the WICB is keen to grant the Tests to Guyana, Jamaica and Grenada, meaning the likes of Trinidad, Antigua, St Lucia and Barbados will be left disappointed. Barbados, which has enjoyed close to sell-out crowds for the T20I series against England, is thought to be particularly disappointed and is trying to persuade the WICB to change their plans.

With many of the Caribbean nations heavily reliant upon tourism, the allocation of an England Test is especially valuable. No other country brings as many travelling supporters and their willingness to embrace the local hotels, restaurants and bars provides a meaningful boost to the local economies.

The WICB has many nations to satisfy and many grounds from which to select, meaning disappointment is inevitable for some.

But at a time when international cricket is struggling to fill stadiums, it does seem odd to stray from a ground like Kensington Oval, in Barbados, which has a proven popularity not just for cricket supporters in the Caribbean but also for thousands of travelling England fans.

In the past, the ECB has privately lobbied for their overseas Tests to be scheduled in popular tourist venues, with the Barmy Army in mind and it remains to be seen whether they will attempt to broker such a deal.

The Kensington Oval is referred to as "the Mecca of cricket" in these parts - and where cricket lovers from England and the Caribbean flock in unparalleled numbers.

With a tour of Sri Lanka scheduled for late 2014, followed by the World Cup in Australia and New Zealand, England supporters will be spoilt for choice over the next year, leaving the Caribbean up against it in any case to attract its usual quota of supporters for a tour scheduled for April 2015.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by PACERONE on (March 16, 2014, 12:03 GMT)

My favorite ground is Barbados.I like Grenada and would not return to St.Lucia due to very poor transportation after the game.My intention is to be able to visit all of the stadiums in the West Indies.It is difficult to spend lots of money to watch what is usually not our best team lose.I blame the selectors for that.

Posted by   on (March 16, 2014, 10:09 GMT)

Call me old fashioned - but why not simply make it a 5 Test series?

Venues: Jamaica Grenada Guyana Trinidad Barbados

The England team, staff and coaches would not complain about this at all as many domestic sides do pre-season training in the Caribbean anyway

Posted by roddybee on (March 15, 2014, 19:00 GMT)

The Windots have never hosted and england test so really its fair enough, but if you were picking from the 4 st lucia would be first and greneda last for sure.

Posted by tutorial on (March 14, 2014, 22:59 GMT)

Every time i watch cricket on line and the venue is Trinidad or Guyana there's always a sold out crowd, like the gentle said ( wapuser) " there locals fill the stadium" i remember going to Trinidad and Guyana to watch an England tour, had to buy tickets way ahead of time because the locals were buying them up so fast, as for the rest of the WI the majority of fans are foreigners and the locals are left out, on that same tour i saw Chanderpaul blasted Harmison for 5 fours and a six of 1 over in providence, so to the nay sayers i think Chanderpaul can play any form of cricket.

Posted by Harvey on (March 14, 2014, 19:46 GMT)

Far from being irked, I know a fair few Barmies who would jump at the chance to go somewhere a bit different. What's more, it's the only Test series involving England next winter. It's not even as if the World Cup is going to be much of an alternative choice of tour for most people. The Barmy Army mainly loves Test cricket, plus the fact the World Cup is being hosted in both Australia AND New Zealand makes it a prohibitively expensive option for us and travelling fans generally. The Barmy Army will be present in numbers wherever the Tests in the Caribbean are hosted. I am a bit surprised the WICB is willing to miss out on the extra revenue from the Barbados and Antigua holiday crowds (many of who are only semi-interested in cricket), but certainly not disappointed. It's not as if there isn't loads to see and do in Guyana and Grenada, especially for those who haven't been before.

Posted by wifan16 on (March 14, 2014, 12:33 GMT)

Maybe if you play a test in Guyana Shiv the son of the soil will announce his retirement and with that WI should retire from test cricket!!

Posted by Flash_hard27 on (March 14, 2014, 9:35 GMT)

Ropsh - you are clearly not a hotelier or bar owner, if you were you would be delighted for the Barmy Army to come to your town. Yes they can be raucous and noisy but they spend plenty of money and with most areas of the world in recession that can only be a good thing for local businesses. I find your snobby comments rather disingenuous, if you don't want to sit with them do what my wife and i do, move. Whenever I have bumped into them overseas they have on the whole been funny and they do tend to know their cricket. Remember this is the bunch that coined the nickname of Forest Gump for Andre Nel. (Check out his run up on YouTube if you cannot remember him.)

Posted by yoadie on (March 14, 2014, 4:36 GMT)

This horse bolted from over-zealous and inebriated WICB management which prepared for the CWC 2007. As international Caribbean cricket grounds mushroomed, our standard of play at Test-cricket level, dropped. The latter resulted in an increase in these whistle-stop tours by other Test-playing nations. In our hey-day, England came for five (5) Tests. In 2015, they will come for three (3). Some might even come for just one (1). So the fight for crumbs, was predictable, thanks to the short-sighted planning of our big `cricketing brains'. The Caribbean now has some of the most impressive goat-fields in the world.

Posted by   on (March 14, 2014, 2:23 GMT)

Why sharing the games among the Caribbean is a problem here.....the last 15 yrs Test matches had empty Stadiums in T& T, St Lucia and Barbados. Having a large crowd in the current T20 doesn't mean the Test Matches get the same turn out we saw the empty stands. Guyana get one Test every decade. Rotate i say...be fair

Posted by wapuser on (March 14, 2014, 1:41 GMT)

Seriously! Guyana is the only nation among the west indies cricketing states that the stadium always host a sell out event....if that t20 series was playing here....the English would have had to pre purchase their tickets. ....so is the tourist who full your stadiums we the locals full ours...

Posted by browners76 on (March 14, 2014, 0:01 GMT)

Jamaica, Barbados and Trinidad should be a given with the fourth test open to bidding by the other islands. I don't think anybody would bemoan Guyana losing a test. It either rains or the pitch is as dead as doornail. Antigua, beautiful place that it is has the probably the ugliest stadium in world cricket and the flattest pitch. Leave Barbados alone, it's the best cricket wicket in the Caribbean and has produced some of the best test matches in Eng WI history.

Posted by riverlime on (March 13, 2014, 23:43 GMT)

The Barmy army is a cricket loving good natured group. It is unfair to describe them as though they are fair-weather tourists. The ones I have had the good fortune to know would happily watch cricket in the snow, wearing only their underwear! And some do even if they dont have to!

Posted by martyn_2014 on (March 13, 2014, 23:42 GMT)

Play the cricket where there is highest demand for it. In the end of the day tickets need to be sold and opportunities need to be maximized. It's rather depressing to see stadiums half empty for test cricket.

Posted by SirViv1973 on (March 13, 2014, 18:21 GMT)

I think some fans are missing the point here. The WICB needs all the money they can get. Eng fans will travel to Barbados, Antigua & St Lucia in big numbers, few will travel to Grenada & only the most ardent fans will be interested in going to Guyana. If the tests do end up in Guyana & Grenada then the grounds will be empty like they usually are for test matches in the region and a lot of potential revenue will be lost.

Posted by slevin1964 on (March 13, 2014, 18:08 GMT)

im not so sure the Barmy Army would be " irked" , For me I would rather go to an island that iv not been to before . Im not a big fan of Barbados , having just returned from Antigua for the Odis , I loved the place . As for sending the West Indies to the coldest parts of England, RUBBISH its cold everywhere in England !!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by   on (March 13, 2014, 17:32 GMT)

Not sure of the prospective dates/seasons, but don't tests in Guyana have a recent history of a lot of rain ? Possibly a good reason to avoid it.

Posted by Ropsh on (March 13, 2014, 17:02 GMT)

Anything to prevent the Barmy Army from attending Test matches is a good thing in my view.

Posted by   on (March 13, 2014, 15:58 GMT)

As a Guyanese I'm very disappointed that we get treated like this. I would be happy to see atleast one test being played here.

Posted by   on (March 13, 2014, 15:33 GMT)

WICB should always give Barbados ,Jamaica and the other Islands the England, South Africa,and Australlia leg of tours and Guyana and T&T should be given the Indian,Pakistan,Sri lanka,B,desh tours in the future and possible shared as well.And please dont talked about Barbados venue filled for the recent T20 when it was only held in two countries with supporters from different countries going there.I want everyone to remember that Guyana had the largest crowd when they host the world cup and Barbados,Jamaica and Trinidad is being given the hog of matches when some countries dont get any.

Posted by   on (March 13, 2014, 13:18 GMT)

WICB does a good job of spreading the wealth. The Bajans get more of get more of their share of matches. I do not see too many complaints from other venues. At least we can watch on line !

Posted by   on (March 13, 2014, 13:04 GMT)

all these territories have players,contributors and supporters of WI cricket. to deny any one the chance to see cricket live due to opposition's request or another reason is absurd and unacceptable. if its so important to have Test cricket in Barbados they could've given the current t20 games to one of the nations whom they're giving the test match to and give BDS the test, then agian BDS and Trinidad may have opposed that too.

Posted by DSlocombe on (March 13, 2014, 12:12 GMT)

I don't see why the other islands should not host matches, if their venues are up to international standards then why not

Posted by   on (March 13, 2014, 10:51 GMT)

The WICB is assisting in the decay of WI cricket for it seems that the insularity that exists within the team selection is also involved in the allocation of venues for test and one day cricket. a T20 game may fill most venues where ever its played in any part of the cricketing world. How could an English tour not have a test match in Barbados.

Posted by   on (March 13, 2014, 9:58 GMT)

Barbados is full of english people and they normally support england....this has been evident at the last couple games. Barbados is basically little england

Jamaica, guyana , trinidad, grenada is where the hardcore west indians fans are

Posted by   on (March 13, 2014, 7:41 GMT)

In the words of Obama: "Let's spread the wealth". Guyanese cricket fans are among the best in the world - and so are the Jamaican fans. And as for Grenada fans, it's about time they get a test match!

Posted by Udendra on (March 13, 2014, 4:39 GMT)

and who said Guyana, Jamaica and Grenada are not popular tourist locations??

Posted by   on (March 13, 2014, 0:23 GMT)

WICB why lobby to get more games against the "Big 3" for financial gains and then don't use it to your financial advantage. Barbados should be a sure pick when playing England. The returns are quite good as opposed to playing it in countries such as Guyana. Even if you want to play on test in Guyana, you should still place on e in Barbados.

Posted by macadamnut on (March 12, 2014, 23:36 GMT)

Actually, Grenada? Is Grenada even an international venue? What about Dominica?

Here's an idea: Ft. Lauderdale.

Posted by macadamnut on (March 12, 2014, 23:33 GMT)

Solution: 7 tests. You're welcome!

Posted by UndertheGrill on (March 12, 2014, 22:10 GMT)

Whether it irks the Barmy Army or not is fairly irrelevant, it's about staging these test matches in venues that will have the best turnout. This tour only consists of 3 tests - the limited overs games are being played now. With a bit more foresight I'd have thought that playing these 3 T20s at Guyana would make more sense in trying to prepare for a World T20 in Bangladesh, and they could have scheduled the test match for Barbados...

Posted by Starvybz on (March 12, 2014, 21:38 GMT)

one thing for sure given that horror which is at providence they should definitely give the test to barbados

Posted by 2.14istherunrate on (March 12, 2014, 21:34 GMT)

It is not the choice of those three venues which irks but the fact of there only being 3 Tests. Pathetic. 5 tests would give us Trinidad and Bridgetown too. Not optional but mandatory I think.

Posted by 2.14istherunrate on (March 12, 2014, 21:34 GMT)

It is not the choice of those three venues which irks but the fact of there only being 3 Tests. Pathetic. 5 tests would give us Trinidad and Bridgetown too. Not optional but mandatory I think.

Posted by   on (March 12, 2014, 21:30 GMT)

The ECB have got a cheek to try and have a input in regards to where the games will be played. I'm glad they will go away from the grounds where the Barmy army like to go as there behaviour at times can be rude and annoying. I sure that don't behave that way at Lords!!!

Posted by Insightful2013 on (March 12, 2014, 20:38 GMT)

The wealthiest islands in the Carribean are Trinidad and Barbados, with the best organized systems in situ. They have better infrastructure and better qualified personnel. So of course, it makes perfect sense to peeve them off. They have already discussed, removing themselves altogether from Windies cricket and now I see why. I think that is exactly what they should do. Ireland and other smaller nations are attempting Test status. Why not Trinidad and Barbados? They carry the weight of the Carribean in other ways and it's time they remove themselves from the ungrateful rest. Trinidad has already played internationally as a team. Migration in the West Indies is almost always done into Trinidad from the other islands, even from Columbia and Venezuela. I think Trinidad and even Barbados with their better organization and wealth, would easily outstrip the other islands and be much better off, eventually.Ungratefulness should always be punished.

Posted by Moz. on (March 12, 2014, 20:38 GMT)

Has anyone considered the possibility that the WICB did this exactly in hope that the Boring Army fail to turn up?

Posted by blu_gg on (March 12, 2014, 20:33 GMT)

All the Islands should benefit. The 3 Islands selected are always given one off matches and Barbados and Trinidad given the "prime" matches. Lets spread it out a little. I should think that colonization has ended and ECB should not dictate where we host our marches in the Caribbean. Who cares about the Barmy Army, we're not drumming up support for England, we want support for the West Indies team. When we go to England, they select grounds that are suitable to their players. I remember the last tour, they took us to the coldest parts of England!

Posted by Diaz54 on (March 12, 2014, 20:17 GMT)

Paramount concern to WICB should be improving its cricket, and this can do by spreading the international games to the other Islands and not it to where Barmy Army reside! This is a joke if they have to consider the interests of Barmy Army....and ECB should pressurise them. My advice tomWICB is that you are not a colony any more. However now I see why we have created the so called big 3!

Posted by Whispering_Holding on (March 12, 2014, 19:22 GMT)

@Frayninho1, you're giving the WICB way too much credit. Sensible your comment but.....

Posted by cricketdebator on (March 12, 2014, 19:19 GMT)

Simply solution. Play the test matches in Antigua, Barbados and St. Lucia where the financial returns for the WICB are usually greatest, and at least 1 limited overs match at each of the other available venues. That way, everybody would get a piece of the action and be satisfied.

Posted by kelbov on (March 12, 2014, 19:18 GMT)

As a West Indian im pleased to see that the WICB has taken a very bold move to move an English Test away from Barbados. Its only fitting, it has been a haven for England for so many years. I have always questioned the decision to continually set matches for Barbados for England. As a matter of fact i remember when the Windies Team won the series i think in 2009, we went to England and played in the coldest parts of the country at that time. So im not sure its matters too much that the Barmy Army is not pleased, its time that at least the WICB give the windies the home advantage they deserve.

Posted by Frayninho21 on (March 12, 2014, 18:48 GMT)

Given England's travails against spin (and the retirement of Swann) I'd expect the WICB to assign the tests to the biggest spinning pitches so I'd have thought Guyana and Trinidad were sensible choices !

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