Windies girls working hard under lights
St John’s, Antigua – The West Indies Women’s team have a tough assignment ahead of them in the coming weeks but they believe the hard work they have put in over the last 12 days will pay dividends in the upcoming series against India Women.
The Windies girls are presently in a training camp in Antigua “working overtime” as they prepare to face their higher-ranked opponents in three One-Day Internationals and five T20 Internationals. The series opens on Saturday with the first T20 International at the Sir Vivian Richards Cricket Ground. First ball in the night match is 6.30 pm (5.30 pm Jamaica Time).
Merissa Aguilleira, the experienced wicket-keeper and inspirational captain, said the players have paid special attention to “playing under lights”, as this has become a feature of the modern game at the international level.
“Our preparations have been going extremely well ... exactly as we planned it. One of our challenges was playing under lights and we have held several training sessions under the lights at the Sir Vivian Richards Ground and we have adapted very well. Before this camp we played a few international matches under the lights but we still needed more. We are quite happy with what we have achieved in the last 12 days,” said Aguilleira.
“Our first two matches will be the T20s and they will be played at night and it is crucial that we get it right from the start. We want to make sure that we get off to a good start against the Indian team and take the lead in the series. We believe we can win the series but it will require the right kind of preparation and the right professional approach when we take the field.”
The young West Indies team is built around their world-rated all-rounders Stafanie Taylor, Shanel Daley and Deandra Dottin; along with Anisa Mohammed, the match-winning off-spinner. Taylor, the right-handed opener and off-spinner, was named ICC Women's Cricketer of the Year 2011 and is the leading player in the game at the moment. At age 20 she is already the most successful female cricketer in West Indies history.
The powerful Dottin is a superb right-handed batter, a sharp medium-pacer and one of the best fielders in the game. The 20-year-old holds the world record for the fastest century in a T20 International by a male or female. Daley, the left-handed Number 3, is a steady presence in the top order. She is also a vital bowler with her left-arm spin after making the switch from left-arm medium-pace two years ago. Mohammed, at age 23, is the most experienced player in the team, having made her international debut nine years ago. She is the go-to bowler in the attack.
“We have some quality players in the team and this was clear when we played really well to win the 2013 World Cup qualification series in Bangladesh last year. The experienced players will be the ones expected to lead the team as we look to win against India and gain ranking points,” said Aguilleira.
“The team also includes some very talented and athletic young players - most of them are teenagers - who are waiting for their opportunity. I’m sure when they get that chance they too will prove what they can do at the international level for West Indies.”
West Indies Squad: Merissa Aguilleira (Captain/wicket-keeper), Stafanie Taylor (Vice Captain), Shemaine Campbelle (wicket-keeper), Britney Cooper, Shanel Daley, Deandra Dottin, Pearl Etienne, Stacy Ann King, Kycia Knight (wicket-keeper), Anisa Mohammed, Subrina Munroe, Juliana Nero, Shaquana Quintyne, Shakera Selman
Saturday, February 18: 1st T20 International at Sir Vivian Richards Cricket Ground, Antigua - 6.30 pm
Sunday, February 19: 2nd T20 International at Sir Vivian Richards Cricket Ground, Antigua - 6.30 pm
Wednesday, February 22: 3rd T20 International at Windsor Park, Dominica - 2 pm
Thursday, February, 23: 4th T20 International at Windsor Park, Dominica - 2 pm
Monday, February 27: 5th T20 International at Warner Park, St Kitts - 2 pm
Wednesday, February 29: 1st One-Day International at Warner Park, St Kitts - 10 am
Friday, March 2: 2nd One-Day International at Warner Park, St Kitts - 10 am
Sunday, March 4: 3rd One-Day International at Warner Park, St Kitts - 10 am