Dubai: West Indies are heading into the upcoming women’s ODI World Cup in New Zealand in a ”good head space” with the team comprising a blend of youth and experienced players, who have learnt new things recently, reckons captain Stafanie Taylor.
West Indies, currently ranked seventh in the ICC ODI team rankings, had to go through qualifications to book their berth in the March 4-April 3 World Cup.
They have not won a title in the earlier 11 editions, their runners-up finish in 2013 being their best ever performance.
”The West Indies are heading to the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup 2022 in a good space, the like of which I have not seen for a long time,” said Taylor in a column for the ICC.
The 30-year-old experienced all-rounder credited the coaching staff headed by coach Courtney Walsh for the team’s recent successes. The team won ODI series in Pakistan and South Africa recently.
”A lot of that is down to the coaching staff. Courtney Walsh took over as head coach in 2020 and the impact that he and his team have made has been huge. They have been able to teach us things that we were just completely unaware of previously,” she said.
”It makes you wonder what sort of players we could be if we had learned some of these things sooner. What sort of player would I be if I knew at the age of seven or eight, what I know now?” The eight teams at the World Cup play each other once in the first stage. The top four after the first stage advance to the semi-finals. West Indies will begin their campaign against New Zealand on March 4.
Taylor is banking on the experience of Deandra Dottin, Shamilia Connell, and Hayley Matthews, along with the youngsters who will be eager to make a mark on the world stage.
”We still have a few players from the 2017 World Cup, and players like Deandra Dottin, and Hayley Matthews are in good form,” Taylor said.
West Indies have named a 15-member squad with off-spinner Anisa Mohammed, who will be playing in her fifth World Cup, being chosen as the vice-captain.
The squad has five young players who could be making their debuts at the marquee event — spinner Karishma Ramharack, pacer Aaliyah Alleyne, seamer Cherry Ann Fraser, all-rounder Chinelle Henry and opening batter Rashada Williams.
”There are also a lot of youngsters who we have been able to integrate into the side. For those playing their first World Cup, my advice to them is to enjoy themselves. There will be nerves, there is no way around that, but they just need to enjoy the opportunity,” Taylor said.
”We need to play well across all three phases. Our fast bowling depth is looking good with Shamilia Connell in good form, and that could be very useful in the conditions over here.
”We are just really excited to get started because the team is in a really good space.”