West Indies Women’s team ready to reclaim title at ICC T20 World Cup
Featured photo credit: International Cricket Council
The West Indies women’s cricket team are prepared to repeat their winning heroics of 2016 in the ICC Women’s T20 Cricket World Cup.
The former champions began their Group B campaign with a win over Thailand in Perth and then a narrow loss to Pakistan at Manuka Oval in Canberra on Wednesday.
The West Indies will be looking to defeat England at Sydney Showground Stadium in Sydney on Sunday March 1 and South Africa on Tuesday March 3, and progress through to the next stage of the competition.
The West Indies are confident of a strong showing according to strike bowler and vice-captain Anisa Mohammed.
“We’ve come to win the World Cup and take it back from Australia,” said Mohamed who is the most successful bowler ever in T20 internationals.
“It would be nice to spoil the party. They spoiled ours, so it would be nice to return the favour.
As a team we know what it’s like to win and what it’s like to lose. Winning is definitely better, so we want to win this time.
Photo credit: @t20worldcup / Instagram
The West Indies have been boosted by the long-awaited return from a shoulder injury of destructive all-rounder and X-factor Deandra Dottin, whose power-hitting and economical fast-medium bowling will strengthen team confidence.
Dottin alongside fellow Bajan Hayley Matthew and Jamaican Stafanie Taylor have experienced Australian conditions before in the Women’s Big Bash League and are considered the key players that need to fire for the West Indies to progress deep into the tournament.
For captain Stafanie Taylor, her team has as good a chance as any, telling the Jamaica Observer: “The ball is round and anything can happen and we’re taking it very seriously for sure.”
All-rounder Taylor is a dynamic veteran who made her debut in 2008 and is an impressive off-spinner and top order batter who is one of the most consistent and prolific players in world cricket. She thrives on the big occasion and was the player of the tournament at the 2016 ICC Women’s T20 World Cup in India.
Taylor has strong memories of the West Indies triumph in 2016: “I have played a lot of games over the years but the memories of India in 2016 stand out so much. We went out there and did it for our country, creating memories that we won’t forget,” said Taylor.
This time around, we just need to do that again, play our game and push until the last ball to see how far that can take us.
Big things are expected of Hayley Matthews who, at 21, is one of the most talented players in the world with her powerful and classy batting complemented by her handy off-spin.
West Indies fans are also looking for a big showing from tall express bowler Shamilia Connell who at full pace bowls close to 130 kilometres per hour. Connell was an impressive track and field athlete who was scouted from a Barbados beach and her menacing pace has caused problems for batters all over the world.
Off the field she is considered the heart and soul of the dressing room and she will play a pivotal role in leading the West Indian attack alongside seamer Shakera Selman and Anisa Mohammed.
West Indian cricket fanatic Lincoln Edwards is looking forward to the Sydney matches against South Africa and England: “That’s where it gets real for us and I’m coming up from Melbourne to support our women.”
“I urge all of the West Indian community to come out to the match, make some noise, showcase our culture and rally round the West Indies.”
The squad: Stafanie Taylor (c), Anisa Mohammed (vc), Deandra Dottin, Hayley Matthews, Chedean Nation, Lee Ann Kirby, Britney Cooper, Shemaine Campbelle, Chinelle Henry, Afy Fletcher, Shamilia Connell, Shakera Selman, Sheneta Grimmond, Cherry Ann Fraser, Aaliyah Alleyne (coach: Gus Logie)
Upcoming fixtures in Sydney:
1 March – West Indies v England, 7pm (local)
3 March – West Indies v South Africa, 7pm (local)
Venue: Sydney Showground Stadium, Sydney Olympic Park, Homebush