Windies girls ready for opening match of ICC Challenge

Potchefstroom, South Africa – West Indies women had a full training session on Tuesday afternoon and are all set to take on the Netherlands at Witrand in the opening match of the International Cricket Council's Challenge. The Windies girls enter the six-team tournament as the highest ranked team and will be looking to win both the One-Day International Series and the T20 League, which follows after.

The first ball is 10 am (4 am Eastern Caribbean Time/3 am Jamaica Time). The ODI event will run from October 6 to 12 while the T20 matches will be played from October 14 to 16 and teams competing in the tournament include the host nation, South Africa, West Indies, as well as Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Ireland and Netherlands.

Coach Sherwin Campbell is eagerly looking forward to the tournament. “I believe we have a very good allround team. We have players in all departments who are capable of world-class performances. We have the West Indies Cricket Board’s 50-Over tournament in August and we got the perfect opportunity to see all the available talent and we picked a strong team from there. The batting needs to give us some big scores. The bowling has been doing the job for us time and time again, but in this tournament I want to see the batters performing ... getting three, four or five players scoring runs rather than one or two players being asked to get the bulk of the runs,” the former West Indies Vice Captain said.

“I believe we are good enough to win the tournament. However, cricket is a game which is played outdoors and not on paper or in the dressing room so the girls have to go out there and prove they can do the job. We are the highest ranked team in the tournament, so the other teams will see us as the team to beat. We know once we do the basics right and stay in control of our game, we will be successful. We can’t underestimate any of the opponents. We have to go out and play it game by game.”

The results of the One-Day International event will determine the new women’s ODI team rankings, behind the top four of England, New Zealand, India and Australia. The tournament, which is being held in association with Cricket South Africa (CSA), will bring about a greater focus on women’s cricket within South Africa and the world of cricket at large.

The event will also see a shake-up in the Reliance Mobile ICC Women’s Player Rankings for ODI batters, bowlers and allrounders. Currently in the Reliance Mobile ICC Women’s Player Rankings for ODI batters, the highest-ranked competitors in the ICC Women’s Cricket Challenge come from South Africa, West Indies and Sri Lanka.

South Africa captain Cri-Zelda Brits (ninth), West Indies Stafanie Taylor (10th) and Sri Lanka all-rounder Shashikala Siriwardana (20th) will be hoping strong performances with the bat during the event will push them up the rankings, which is currently topped by India’s Mithali Raj with Australia’s Shelley Nitschke, ICC Women’s Player of the Year nominee, in second place.

Taylor will also be hoping to return to the top five of the all-rounders list with the ICC Women’s Player of the Year nominee currently sitting in sixth place. The list is headed by Shelley Nitschke of Australia. In the Reliance Mobile ICC Women’s Player Rankings for ODI bowlers, Pakistan captain Sana Mir and Sri Lanka’s Siriwardena will be hoping to break into the top ten. Sana currently sits in 16th place while Siriwardena is in 18th position.