England Tests wanted by so many, board has to rethink

The West Indies Cricket Board caused such a wave of protests over its allocation of Tests for the series against England in April 2015 that countries left out have forced a fresh bidding process.

The board initially decided to allocate the three Tests to Guyana, Grenada and Jamaica, but excluded cricket boards protested and even received support from politicians and the board is now rescheduling.

Barbados, the favorite destination for England supporters, where there were three well-attended 20-over matches between England and West Indies, was particularly unhappy with the decision.

The winning bids will be determined based on certain criteria and will not automatically be the highest bids.

The criteria involve pitch and outfield, spectator capacity, accommodation, ground travel, logistics and airlift.

Many Caribbean nations heavily rely on tourism, and hosting an England Test is particularly lucrative. No other country brings as many traveling supporters – aka The Barmy Army – and their willingness to embrace the local hotels, restaurants and bars boosts local economies significantly.

The board does not have an easy task because many nations want to host the Tests, which means that disappointment is inevitable for some.

There is a new wave of optimism in the Caribbean that the West Indies can be a force again at Test level.

But the West Indies have taken a backward step in the latest International Cricket Council T20 standings, previously their strongest format.

Despite reaching the semifinal stage in their defense of their World Twenty20 title in Bangladesh in March, the West Indies dropped two placings in the T20 rankings to seventh, with Australia (fifth) and New Zealand (sixth) edging ahead of them.

Beaten finalists India have taken over from Sri Lanka as the top side in the game’s shortest format despite the Sri Lankans beating them in the World T20 final.

That loss was the only setback for the Indians in T20s in the past 12 months.

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