England men will return to Trinidad for the first time since 2009 as part of their limited-overs tour of the West Indies in late 2023.
The tour, comprising three ODIs and five T20 matches, will see England tour from December 3 to 21 via Antigua, Barbados, Grenada and Trinidad. Each island will host two matches, starting with the first two ODIs at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium in Antigua.
The tour will conclude a week before Christmas with the fourth and fifth T20Is at the Brian Lara Academy in Trinidad. These will be England’s first matches at the stadium, having played all of their previous 28 matches in the country at the Queen’s Park Oval. The last of which was the T20I in March 2009, which the West Indies won by six wickets.
Given the timing of this tour, it is likely that England will send a weak team, as they have done several times during the past winter. The first match is 14 days after the final of the 50-over World Cup in India and jos buttlerThe team, as the defending champions, hopes to make it to the knockout stages.
Last year, several substitutes were drafted in for the ODI series against Australia, which came immediately after their T20 World Cup victory. Although there is no Test cricket between then and the end of the year as there is a tour of Pakistan in 2022, some players will request time off before returning to India for the five-match Test series starting in January. 2024.
That in turn is likely to be a repeat of the situation that arose for the white-ball tour of Bangladesh in March. A day after the Test series ended in New Zealand, the players were called in pecking order. Many were rebuffed by those who wanted to honor more lucrative deals in the Pakistan Super League which was happening at the same time.
The West Indies tour will clash with the Big Bash League, and will come just before the second season of the SA20 and ILT20 which is set to start in January. Given the general demand for English and West Indian talent, the series could become a second-eleven affair, preserving itself for those competitions for better remuneration.
After the Bangladesh tour, men’s managing director Rob Key and ECB chief executive Richard Gould vowed to increase match fees to ensure that this situation did not happen again. Much will depend on the scale of those increases. Currently, players without central contracts can earn £5,000 and £2,500 respectively for any ODI and T20I appearances, plus tour fees.
In a statement released by Cricket West Indies upon the announcement of the tour, CWI chief executive Johnny Grave said: “We are delighted to be able to confirm the England match schedule and to welcome our many fans traveling to the region once again. Happy to have a pre-Christmas white-ball tour.”
“This tour will be a major economic boost for the host nations, as well as providing our fans with the chance to see some of their favorite players battle it out against one of our biggest rivals. will also help and is planning for one of the biggest events ever to be held in the region, the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup, which will take place in June next year.”