Stafanie Taylor: Great desire to win coveted award

Jamaica Observer article.

Kingston, Jamaica - Cricketer Stafanie Taylor, one of the nominees for 2013 RJR Sports Foundation National Sportswoman of the Year, said she has a great desire to get a first-time hold on the award.

But the West Indies player conceded it will be difficult to top other outstanding candidates.

"I would love to win the RJR Award and this would be the first for me. But I know the competition is very strong. You have [sprinter] Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, who has done well so I know it's going to be hard," she told the Jamaica Observer in a recent interview.

Other females shortlisted for the performance-based award are outstanding national swimmer Alia Atkinson and World Boxing Council (WBC) title-holder Alicia Ashley.

The Awards function will be staged at the Jamaica Pegasus on January 10.

Taylor, 22, added that even if she does not win, being considered is recognition enough for her exploits this year.

"It's always a pleasure to be nominated for any award. It shows that you have been doing well over the period, so I'm very delighted," said the former Eltham High student.

Taylor, who bats at the top of the order and bowls tidy off-spin, helped the West Indies to a runner-up finish in the ICC Women's Cricket World Cup in India.

The world number one-ranked all-rounder also captained Jamaica's women to victory in both 50-overs and Twenty20 (T20) regional tournaments.

Taylor, the 2012 ICC Women's One-Day International (ODI) Cricketer of the Year, was again nominated this term, but lost out to New Zealand captain Suzie Bates.

The Jamaican also fell short after being shortlisted in the T20 International category — finishing behind England's Sarah Taylor.

Though still quite young, she already has made herself into one of the world's most consistent players.

Taylor, who made her ODI debut in 2008, averages 43.90 in 70 ODI matches and has struck five centuries and 16 fifties. She has a highest score of 171. She has also taken 93 wickets at 16.54 with a best of 4-17.

In 49 T20 Internationals Taylor averages 33.87 with a best of 90. She has grabbed 53 T20 wickets at 15.62 and has a best of 3-10.

The attacking right-hander, who has tormented bowlers around the globe, explained that her passion for cricket has kept her performing at a consistent level across all formats.

"It's the fact that I love the game, I think that's my motivation right now. It motivates me to do well so regardless of anything going on around I still go out there and do what I have to do... because of the passion, really," said the player, who represents Westmoreland-located DW People's Choice on the local circuit.

Taylor is enjoying the holidays, but she expressed a commitment to remain in good enough physical and mental condition before preparation begins for the upcoming tour of New Zealand.

"Now I'm on a break. But next year we have New Zealand in February so even though I'm on a break, I'm still training and keeping in shape," the star all-rounder said.

First Published In The Jamaica Observer.

Wed, 12/25/2013 - 08:08