WICB reopens bidding for England Tests
The WICB has responded to a backlash over its allocation of Tests for the series against England in April 2015 by holding a fresh bidding process for potential hosts.
WICB had originally decided to allocate the three Tests to Guyana, Grenada and Jamaica. But, after that news was revealed by ESPNcricinfo, the cricket boards and, in some cases politicians, of the Caribbean nations that missed out reacted in dismay and have now provoked a rethink.
Officials in Barbados, which has proved a popular destination for England cricket supporters and recently hosted three well-attended T20s between England and West Indies, are understood to have been particularity irked by the decision.
"It is correct that there is an ongoing bidding process for hosting the England series next year," a WICB spokesman told ESPNcricinfo. "There is a list of criteria which the WICB has outlined to the territories.
"The winning bids will be determined based on an assessment of these criteria and will not automatically be the highest bids. The criteria involve a number of general and specific areas including but not limited to pitch and outfield, spectator capacity, accommodation, ground travel, logistics and airlift."
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.
George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo