Cricket is set to return to Dominica next year, when the Windward Islands Volcanoes host Trinidad & Tobago Red Force for a ninth-round match in the West Indies Championship (4-Day).
Cricket West Indies announced on Tuesday the schedule of matches for the Championship which opens on Thursday, December 6.
It revealed that Windsor Park, located in the heart of the Dominica capital of Roseau, will stage the match between the Volcanoes and Red Force from February 28 to March 3.
“We are very elated to have been given this opportunity, since we have started to bounce back from the hurricane and on stream to host this regional match,” said Glen Joseph, the president of the Dominica Cricket Association.
“We are willing to take on the challenge, ensure that everything goes well and is successful. We are looking to put all the logistics in place so that there will be no issues. We are very excited, and we will ensure that we put our best foot forward.”
Dominica has been off the cricket radar, since Hurricane Maria, a Category 5 system, dealt a devastating blow to the island on September 19 last year, but the island has steadily recovered.
Windsor Park sustained little structural damage during the hurricane, but parts of the perimeter wall crumbled, sheets of galvanized roofing were blown off the stands and the floodlighting towers were bent out of shape.
The venue was also used as a shelter for displaced residents following the hurricane, but Joseph said that was no longer the case and restoration work had started.
“We hosted the World Creole Festival and Gospelfest concerts recently,” said Joseph.
“I have spoken to government officials and they are hoping to complete all of the restoration work either in the first or second quarter of next year to ensure that the ground is ready in a bid to host international games next year.”
The Volcanoes will remain under the spotlight when the Championship opens, as they face four-time, defending champions Guyana Jaguars at the Daren Sammy Cricket Ground in St. Lucia.
Only one other first round match has been carded with Barbados Pride hosting Leeward Islands Hurricanes at the Three Ws Oval.
The other match between Trinidad & Tobago Red Force and Jamaica Scorpions has been pushed back to March at the Brian Lara Cricket Academy in Trinidad.
The Championship is also well-placed for players, as almost half of the matches are due to be completed prior to the first Test between WINDIES and England which starts on January 23 at Kensington Oval in Barbados – and the remainder will be played simultaneously with the Tour.
“The season is designed to give all players an opportunity to impress the selectors prior to England landing on January 11 next year,” said CWI Manager, Cricket Operation, Roland Holder.
“Basically, it’s four rounds of matches to impress, and consistency from all players – both with the bat and ball – would be welcomed.
“If it’s a batsman, score consistently and not just one big score surrounded by a series of low scores. If it’s a bowler, take wickets and trouble the batsmen consistently, so that you are in the forefront of the selectors’ minds.”
Six day/night contests are carded for the Championship which again features matches starting primarily on Thursdays.
SCHEDULE OF MATCHES
(All matches start at 10 am daily, except where indicated)
Thursday, December 6 to Sunday, December 9
Volcanoes vs Jaguars – Daren Sammy Cricket Ground, St. Lucia (2 pm start daily)
Pride vs Hurricanes – Three Ws Oval, Barbados (2 pm start daily)
Thursday, March 14 to Sunday, March 17
Red Force vs Scorpions – Brian Lara Cricket Academy, Trinidad
Thursday, December 13 to Sunday, December 16
Pride vs Scorpions – Three Ws Oval
Hurricanes vs Jaguars – Vivian Richards Cricket Ground, Antigua
Red Force vs Volcanoes – Brian Lara Cricket Academy
Friday, January 4 to Monday, January 7
Scorpions vs Volcanoes – Sabina Park, Jamaica (2 pm start daily)
Red Force vs Hurricanes – Brian Lara Cricket Academy
Pride vs Jaguars – Kensington Oval, Barbados
Thursday, January 10 to Sunday, January 13
Scorpions vs Red Force – Sabina Park
Jaguars vs Volcanoes – Guyana National Stadium, Guyana (9:30 am start daily)
Thursday, March 14 to Sunday, March 17
Hurricanes vs Pride – Vivian Richards Cricket Ground
Thursday, January 17 to Sunday, January 20
Jaguars vs Hurricanes – Guyana National Stadium (9:30 am start daily)
Red Force vs Pride – Brian Lara Cricket Academy (2 pm start daily)
Volcanoes vs Scorpions – National Cricket Stadium, Grenada
Thursday, January 31 to Sunday, February 3
Hurricanes vs Scorpions – Warner Park, St. Kitts (2 pm start daily)
Red Force vs Jaguars – Queen’s Park Oval, Trinidad
Pride vs Volcanoes – Kensington Oval
Thursday, February 7 to Sunday, February 10
Jaguars vs Scorpions – Guyana National Stadium
Pride vs Red Force – Kensington Oval
Volcanoes vs Hurricanes – Arnos Vale Sports Complex, St. Vincent
Thursday, February 21 to Sunday, February 24
Hurricanes vs Red Force – Warner Park
Scorpions vs Jaguars – Sabina Park
Volcanoes vs Pride – Arnos Vale Sports Complex
Thursday, February 28 to Sunday, March 3
Scorpions vs Hurricanes – Sabina Park
Jaguars vs Pride – Guyana National Stadium
Volcanoes vs Red Force – Windsor Park, Dominica
Thursday, March 7 to Sunday, March 10
Scorpions vs Pride – Sabina Park
Jaguars vs Red Force – Guyana National Stadium (2 pm start daily)
Hurricanes vs Volcanoes – Vivian Richards Cricket Ground