After more than a quarter century, Kerala is likely to dance to the Calypso beat once again with the West Indies cricket team expected to play a One-Day International in Kochi in November.
The West Indies will tour India for a two-Test and three-ODI series in November and according to Kerala Cricket Association sources, one of them, a day-night game, is likely to be played in Kochi’s Jawaharlal Nehru International Stadium on November 24.
“We have requested for a one-dayer. The BCCI’s fixtures committee will decide the tour schedule on Tuesday, there is a chance but nobody can predict it,” said a KCA official.
After the recent national cricket board BCCI elections, Kerala now has a bigger voice in the board and it is evident from the fact that the State now has six men in various committees of the national association with the KCA President T.C. Mathew, the new National Cricket Academy Chairman, leading the group.
And this, many feel, will bring the West Indies to the city.
“We may get the match out of ‘rotation’,” revealed the KCA official. “Vizag and Mumbai and a few others are in the fray for the ODIs.”
The West Indies has played only one ODI in Kerala, when a team led by the great Sir Vivian Richards thrashed India by nine wickets at Thiruvananthapuram’s University Stadium on January, 1988. Apart from Richards, who did not get to bat in that game, that team included Richie Richardson, Gordon Greenidge, Gus Logie and Carl Hooper. The West Indies was a powerful team those days and despite Indian star K. Srikkanth scoring a century, the visitor won the match comfortably with Phil Simmons coming up with a ton too.
The current team may not be a strong side now but it still has exciting players like Chris Gayle who set the stands on fire. Kochi has hosted seven ODIs, the last against England on January 15 this year, and has won five of them.