WICB still groping for Champions Trophy chance

(Trinidad Express) West Indies will no longer be touring Zimbabwe. While the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) is still looking at other avenues to give the regional side a chance at qualifying for the 2017 Champions Trophy, India is not one of them.

WICB CEO Michael Muirhead told the Trinidad Express yesterday the Zimbabwe tour was definitely off, after Pakistan pulled out of the tri-nations One-Day International series which was scheduled to be played in August.

Only the top-seven sides as of September 30, apart from hosts England, will make it to the 2017 Champions Trophy and the tri-nations series was the only ODI engagement the West Indies had scheduled after the World Cup.

Pakistan moved from ninth place to eighth in the ICC rankings after winning the ODI series against Sri Lanka while West Indies slipped to ninth.

“We are not going to Zimbabwe,” he said. “They have scheduled the ODIs to be played after the cut-off day for the Champions Trophy and Pakistan have also pulled out of the series for obvious reasons so we can’t blame them.

“We are still trying to find any avenue that is available. We have been exploring different options but it seems very doubtful,” he said of the possibility of any ODI series being played before the cut-off date.

It was reported on Wednesday that the WICB had approached the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to play an ODI series before the cut off date, however, Muirhead said he was not aware of that.

The BCCI and WICB are still trying to get a resolution to the impasse between the two boards stemming from the abandoned tour of India last year.

The BCCI subsequently slapped a US$41.97 million claim on the WICB and also suspended bilateral relations with the regional body until the dispute is resolved. In terms of an update on the discussions between the two boards, Muirhead said the two parties sat down and had talks however the BCCI still had to have internal discussions before getting back to the WICB.

“There is nothing further to report,” he said, noting that the recent Indian Premier League match-fixing scandal might have had the BCCI pre-occupied.

Asked if there were any tours coming out over the next two months, Muirhead said “there is nothing scheduled at this time.

“The players have been playing a lot of cricket and are looking to get a rest,” he added.


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