Windies tour to Australia under threat
February 11, 2004
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Fans from both sides of the globe were looking forward to the series of Test and One-day Internationals after a competitive series in the Caribbean last year when West Indies completed a record-breaking win in the fourth Test at St John’s and snapped the Aussies’ record ODI win streak.
The postponement has also robbed fans of a showdown between the top two batsmen in the world at the moment, West Indies captain Brian Lara and Australia captain Ricky Ponting.
West Indies were expected to play at least three Tests in Australia in line with Cricket Australia’s four-year blueprint to host one “icon” series -- against crowd favourites England, India, South Africa or the West Indies -- every season.
Zorol Barthley, chief cricket operations of the West Indies Cricket Board, told CMC Sports that the postponement decision was not final yet and that they were still in negotiations with Cricket Australia.
The International Cricket Council’s future tours programme has meant that a full West Indian itinerary of Tests and ODIs could not be managed until at least 2005-06.
Australia’s likely visitors seem to be Pakistan and New Zealand with Cricket Australia (CA) officials still hopeful the Windies will form part of the triangular ODI series that will follow.
But not even the 2005-06 series seems guaranteed, since that would create further scheduling problems for CA, which will need to fit the West Indies series alongside a three-Test tour by South Africa.