Windies In A Spin Over Shelved SA Tour 

Author: Neil-Monticelli Harley-Rüdd

Cash-strapped Cricket West Indies (CWI), licking their wounds following their 2-1 Test series defeat in England, have been dealt a severe financial blow after their proposed home series against South Africa was postponed indefinitely.

The South Africans, prior to the coronavirus outbreak, were scheduled to tour the Caribbean in July and August. Then talks were in place for the series, comprising two Test matches and five T20 internationals, to be played in September and/or October.

However, the Cricket South Africa director of cricket Graeme Smith cites that such a short time frame between the financially lucrative Indian Premier League (IPL) and the originally projected Test series to the Caribbean has resulted in the tour being cancelled. The IPL is scheduled to start on 19 September in the UAE.


He released a statement on August 1 that read: “West Indies [tour] has been postponed indefinitely. We’re struggling to find a time with the IPL being fitted in. It looks like our players are going to be needed from the beginning of September, government-permitting, and travel permitting.

“Sri Lanka [tour] also [postponed]. I expect that once things get up and running, I would say from November onwards, if all goes well it will be a really busy period for South African cricket – probably playing in times that we haven’t played before and trying to cram in a lot of the missed tours.”

Following the West Indies’ seven-week tour of England, and hitting hurricane season, has not deterred the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) to take place that is set to conclude on 10 September in Trinidad.

The Windies snatched the opening Test in England last month, beating the hosts by four weeks at Hampshire’s Ageas Bowl in Southampton thanks to the outstanding bowling of Trinidad paceman Shannon Gabriel and shambolic fielding by England.

But with Gabriel playing despite being injured for the 2nd Test at Old Trafford in Manchester, and England bringing back all-rounder Stuart Broad, the tables were turned and the tourists suffered a hefty 113-run defeat.

Jason Holder’s troops wilted in the 3rd Test in Manchester, outclassed in every department, to taste an embarassing 269-run rain-affected loss.

At least the CWI did not have to deliver their squad an overall maximim bonus of US$30,000 for retaining the Wisden Trophy that they had so brilliantly won 19 months ago in the Caribbean.
The CWI announced in May that they were forced to halve salaries for all employees due to the financial impact of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, which resulted in a regular Test match fee of around US$8,500 each for Windies and amounted to around 50% of the monies that England players pocketed.


They were currently sponsored by Sandals, owned by Jamaican entrepreneur Butch Stewart, for their Sandals Tour of England 2020. But without a lucrative television deal in place are struggling for the same kind of remuneration as England and other nations. The CWI commit 26% of their revenue to paying their international and franchise players.

Yet CWI’s finances have been in freefall for sometime, they had to borrow £1.6m from Bangladesh to fund the 2018 series between the two sides in the Caribbean. And more recently were loaned US$3.15m by the England & Wales Cricket Board (ECB) to assist with their dire cashflow.

The CWI will have to play the waiting game to boast their coffers as they plan their next international assignment, with Windies’ captain Holder having already hinted that he would like England to undertake a whistlestop tour of the Caribbean this winter.

8-12 July
1st Test – 
West Indies won by four wickets

Ageas Bowl, Southampton

16-20 July
2nd Test – 
England won by 113 runs

Old Trafford, Manchester

24-28 July
3rd Test – 
England won by 269 runs 

Old Trafford, Manchester 

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