West Indies Women’s team coach, Courtney Walsh, admits the team could be pressed for time to be fully ready to compete at the upcoming World Cup qualifiers, particularly with a lack of international and regional fixtures.

The qualifiers are expected to take place in Sri Lanka, in December of this year, giving the team just around 7 months to prepare.  The presence of the coronavirus and protocols put in place to stop its transmission, however, has meant that regional competition for female cricketers has been put on hold.

It is a similar case for international fixtures, with the team having not played a series since November of last year when the Windies faced off against England.

“Not being able to play enough cricket, you would not say it is enough time but we have to try to understand the situation and work with it as best as we can,” Walsh told members from media from Antigua, where the team was gathered for a training camp.

“In an ideal world we would be able to tour and play as much cricket as we could then yes,” he added.

“It is a tickling situation, but it is something that is understandable, so we have to do what we can and get in as much as we can.  The back of the year might be a little busier coming closer to that time.  I am still hoping that we can have a couple of tours and play and have the regionals and stuff.  Once the girls are playing, I much prefer that because it gives me a better chance of seeing who is in form, seeing who is improving, who is not improving.  With them not being able to play that’s my biggest challenge.”

Stafanie Taylor says West Indies are breathing a collective sigh of relief after surviving a scare against Thailand in their ICC Women’s T20 World Cup opener in Perth.

Taylor’s side beat the tournament debutants by seven wickets in the first game to be held at the WACA Ground, but the win was not as flattering as the scorecard may suggest.

West Indies looked to be on their way to a comfortable victory when restricting their opponents to 78 for nine from the full 20 overs.

But Thailand’s impressive fielding display saw three quick wickets fall before the seventh over – including that of the dangerous Deandra Dottin – to set the nerves racing in the dugout.

“It wasn’t great seeing our wickets fall so early, but I’m relieved I can smile now,” said captain Taylor after scoring 26 not out and taking 3-13 to lead the way for the West Indies women.

“It’s tricky to play a team like Thailand who we have never played before. You have to spend a little bit of time at the crease getting used to their bowlers and we didn’t do that properly at the start of our innings.

“They gave us some nervous moments. Their bowling attack can definitely cause some trouble at this year’s World Cup.

“They have some really good bowlers and I think in a few years’ time, they will be giving teams challenges.”

They may have underperformed at the crease but debutants Thailand produced a moment for the tournament highlight reel from the field with Naruemol Chaiwai producing a direct hit to run out Lee-Ann Kirby and claim her country’s first Women’s T20 World Cup wicket.

Teenager Nannapat Khoncharoenkai top-scored with the bat with 33 from 48 balls but opener Nattaya Boochatam, who was caught early for two, knows her side can’t be relying on the middle-order in future outings.

“We know we could have had a chance if we’d got more runs on the board,” said Boochatam.

“We scored too few today, but we think our performance will make people take us more seriously.

“It has given us motivation to do better and show we can compete on the global stage. It’s been a long time waiting and we are so excited to be out on the ground at a World Cup.”

West Indies Women’s captain Stafanie Taylor has hopes of re-experiencing the dizzying heights of capturing the ICC T20 World Cup title, as the team prepares to embark on the upcoming campaign.

The regional team shocked the cricket world after defeating heavily favoured Australia in the 2016 final.  The 28-year-old Windies skipper has freely admitted that reflecting on the unexpected triumph years later still fills her with a sense of pride and is eager to replicate it.

“I have played a lot of games over the years but the memories of India 2016 stand out so much,” Taylor told the ICC Cricket.

“Looking back on it, I’m just hoping that we can replicate it again this year – both the feeling that we had as a team and the impact that individual players had on the tournament from start to finish,” she added.

“Four years ago was a perfect storm for us. We really wanted to win, and I think we left all we had on the field throughout the tournament, especially in the final against Australia.

“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. Winning the title and bringing the trophy back to the West Indies would be success for us.”

The West Indies Women will hope to emulate the feats of the men’s team who are two-time winners of the competition.

 

 

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