India set for maiden appearance at Guyana National Stadium

Team West Indies are set to host Team India during the Caribbean Tour in August 2019 post the ICC Cricket World Cup that is slated for May 30.
Cricket West Indies (CWI) President, Ricky Skerritt, who had earlier this week travelled to Guyana, confirmed that Guyana will be among the host countries for India’s tour to the Caribbean.
Skerritt, who was accompanied by CWI Chief Executing Officer Johnny Grave and CWI Logistics Manager Fawaaz Baksh, has made Guyana the fourth country visited since the appointment of the new team in CWI administration. The visits to these Caribbean countries are on the “Cricket First Plan” implanted by the Skerritt administration.
Vibrant as CWI President, Skerritt’s visit to Guyana focused on the Indian tour, the hosting of the Regional Under-19 tournament, and the illegality of the Guyana Cricket Board (GCB).
The elite Team India are currently the world’s number one-ranked Test team, the world’s number two-ranked One Day International (ODI) team, and the world’s number five- ranked T20 International team.
Led by their great player Virat Kohli, India have last visited the Caribbean in 2016-17, when they played a full series, including four Test matches, five ODIs and one T20I. Yet India have never played an International match at the National Stadium at Providence since the facility was established for the 2007 ICC Cricket World Cup.
The National Stadium at Providence has hosted 21 ODI matches, two Test matches, and six T20I matches. The last time that venue hosted an international match was on July 25, 2018. The last time a T20I match was played there was in 2010, and the second and last Test matches played there were between West Indies and Pakistan in May 2011.
India being on the cards to play at Providence is a ‘once in a lifetime’ event, especially since India had acquitted themselves very well in the Caribbean in the previous tour. In the 2016 Test tour, India won the 4-match series 2-0. The batting charts in that series were led by Kohli himself, who scored 251 runs, including a double-century.
Five of India’s batsmen had also recorded centuries on spin friendly tracks in that tour. The matches were played across Antigua, Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica, and St Lucia.
Meanwhile, India’s last ODI tour to the Caribbean, in 2017, had seen the West Indies suffering a 3-1 defeat. India’s axed ODI batsman Ajinkya Rahane was the leading run-scorer in the ODIs with 336 runs, followed by Kohli, who scored 244 runs.
For the West Indies, Shai Hope had the most runs in the ODI series, scoring 181 at an average above 40. Kuldeep Yadav and Jason Holder had eight wickets each in that series. India’s last T20I in the Caribbean was a high-scoring encounter that saw Windies chasing a target of 190+. Evin Lewis had scored 125 from 62 balls in that encounter, played in Kingston Jamaica.
India usually brings their ‘A’ game to the Caribbean. In August, after the ICC Cricket World Cup and before the CPL 2019, India are set for a maiden appearance at Providence. (Brandon Corlette)