West Indies and India sign co-operation deal

Published: Friday, May 12, 2006, 23:53 [IST]
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Port of Spain:West Indies and India will contest between three to five One-day internationals in the United States and Canada later this year, the West Indies Cricket Board has announced.

The matches form part of a bilateral agreement reached at the recent ICC board meeting in Dubai on ways in which West Indies and India would co-operate in the future.

"The major breakthrough from this agreement will be the development and expansion of cricket in North America through the hosting of matches and, in particular, joint ventures to be pursued such as the opening of the multi-complex stadium in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, a news release from the WICB disclosed.

The ODIs targeted for August/September this year will be a major boost for the game in North America, particularly the United States which has gone through its share of administrative difficulties and lost out on a chance to host matches in Fort Lauderdale at the 2007 ICC World Cup being hosted by the West Indies.

The United States and Canada are home to many expats from the Caribbean and India many of whom pursue the game in the summer months in several modest leagues that have sprung up around the continent.

"Because of current financial difficulties, India will fund this project [the ODIs] on the understanding that it will be repaid out of the West Indies share of the profits of the series," the release noted.

Canada will contest the 2007 ICC World Cup - their third crack at the global event - and the United States participated in the 2004 ICC Champions Trophy in Britain.

The WICB revealed the deal was signed on Saturday, April 29 between Ken Gordon, president of the WICB, and I.S. Bindra, India's alternative representative.

"The two boards have agreed to work together assisting each other wherever possible to develop cricket in their respective countries or in their spheres of special interest - North America," the release added.

"This relationship will be based on mutual respect and the natural ties which have been developed over many years of competing with each other in the field."

The ODIs will be independent of the ICC Future Tours Programme unveiled earlier this week. West Indies are set to contest a series of five ODIs and four Tests, starting next week in the Caribbean.

It was reported recently that the West Indies' vote proved decisive in helping the Asian bloc - India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and Bangladesh - capture the right to host the 2011 ICC World Cup.

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