West Indies Women’s all-rounder, Hayley Matthews, has hailed the impact and approach of head coach Courtney Walsh for the team’s noticeable recent improvements.

Walsh took charge of the team in 2020, on the back of a difficult period that had seen the WI Women swept aside 5-0 during a tour of England and four straight series defeats prior to that.  The team was also the subject of criticism for their overall fitness levels.

Fast forward a few months later and a fitter-looking Windies Women have shown signs of improvement, putting together much stronger performances that saw them win 2 of the last 3 ODI series.  Matthews believes a new approach has slowly started to show benefits for both herself and the team.

“I think it’s been fantastic, just looking at the structure.  Our entire camps and training session have been going really well.  He’s brought in some fantastic coaches to work with us, you have Corey Collymore as a fast bowling coach, you have Ryan Austin as our spin coach, Steve Liburd for the fielding and the wicketkeeping and then Robert Samuels has been working with us for batting as well.  So, I think there’s a really good balance at the moment,” Matthews told the Mason and Guest radio show.

“Everyone has been getting a bit more zoned in on the specifics and that’s something we were missing in the past, not having as much firepower in the coaching area.  Really breaking it down to the basics in those general areas.  That’s been really good and Courtney has done a fantastic job bringing in the right people to blend with the girls.”

Matthews has had an exceptional season herself and is one of three nominees for the ICC Women’s ODI Player of the Year award.

West Indies Women head coach Courtney Walsh believes his most difficult task preparing for next year's ICC Women's Cricket World Cup, will be keeping his players focused and ready for the task at hand following the cancellation of the World Cup qualifiers in Zimbabwe.

The players returned home to their respective islands last weekend.

“That’s going to be a big challenge,” Walsh told the Antigua Observer.

“We had a break and didn’t get to play as much cricket as we wanted to play for them to get that exposure, so I don’t want to use the words ‘starting over again’, but it is going to be something similar where we are going to have to restart or reset and see how best we can get things going to have everybody clicking again.”

Following the cancellation of the qualifiers that were to be held between November 21 and December 5, the West Indies Women were forced to spend 11 days in quarantine in Oman.

West Indies Women had won their first match against Ireland Women by six wickets.

The 2022 ICC Women’s World Cup gets underway on March 4, 2022, with West Indies Women facing hosts New Zealand at the Bay Oval in Tauranga.

The West Indies Women are on their way home following 11 days of quarantine in Oman after the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) Women’s Cricket World Cup qualification tournament in Zimbabwe was cancelled over Covid fears.

In the wake of the discovery of the new Omicron Covid variant, more severe global restrictions against travellers from a number of African countries, including Zimbabwe, forced the ICC to abandon the tournament prematurely and to send competing teams home as quickly as possible.

The West Indies squad was flown to Oman by an ICC private charter, with a short stopover in Namibia, along with eight other international squads. Oman was used as a staging area for the West Indies Women’s squad while they awaited an available route home.

“We are pleased to confirm that the West Indies Women’s squad will soon be making their way back home. We want to thank them for their patience and understanding as we worked with our counterparts at the ICC and Oman Cricket to facilitate their return at the earliest opportunity,” said CWI CEO Johnny Grave.

“We want to express our appreciation to the ICC, Oman Cricket and our operations team, who have worked tirelessly to ensure everyone was comfortable and remained safe.”

Meanwhile, Head Coach Courtney Walsh the players and coaching staff are relieved to be heading home after enduring challenging times in quarantine.

“The team is relieved by the good news that we will be home with our families before Christmas. The sudden cancellation of the Qualifiers and transition period in Oman has been mentally taxing on the entire team, both for the players and management staff,” Walsh said.

“As a management group, we tried to ensure that the players remained in a positive frame of mind. Our Strength and Conditioning Coach created a fitness challenge for all of us to participate in for the duration of the quarantine period, as it was something to take our minds off what was happening. I must say thanks to our Team Manager, the ICC and Oman Cricket, for all their logistical work, in ensuring we’re on our way home as quickly as possible.”

The players and team management are expected to arrive at their various West Indian home territories over the course of the next few days.

Following the termination of the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup Qualifiers, ICC announced that the West Indies Women along with Pakistan Women and Bangladesh Women secured the final three qualification spots for the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup by virtue of the existing ICC Women’s ODI rankings. The ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup will be played in New Zealand from March 4 to April 3, 2022.

West Indies Women head into the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup Qualifier on a winning note after defeating Thailand women by 151 runs in their warm-up match at the Sunrisers Sports Club ground in Harare.

West Indies Women posted 230-6 from their 50 overs, with Thailand Women replying with 79 all out in 36.3 overs.

The West Indies Women owed their score to Deandra Dottin, who scored 101 and Hayley Matthews, who contributed with 57.

 Onnicha Kamchomphu took 2-26 while Suleeporn Laomi returned figures of 2-37.

Thailand was never in the hunt, despite Chanida Sutthiruang’s 37.  Sornnarin Tippoch was the next best scorer with nine as Shakera Selman took 2-1 and Aaliyah Alleyne 2-9 proved too much for the opposing batters.

Naturally, Head Coach Courtney Walsh was pleased with the outcome ahead of the first match on November 23 against Ireland.

“It was good to get in a practice match in Zimbabwe to get accustomed to the conditions. The ladies went out and did what was required,” he said.

“Deandra and Hayley had good knocks, so it’s good to see the runs continuing from over from Pakistan. We gave all the bowlers a chance to get a feel of the pitch here in Zimbabwe. It was important to get match practice as Papua New Guinea pulled out so we are short one game.”

Walsh believes winning the series against Pakistan 3-0 and overwhelming Thailand will boost the confidence of his players.

“Once you keep winning you’re going to keep having confidence. We left Pakistan pretty confidently and it’s important to keep that momentum and not taking anything for granted,” he said.

“Obviously, this was just a practice game but the win is important for team morale and then we have a few days before we start the competition, so it’s good to get that win under our belts.”

The West Indies Women will continue their training schedule for the next three days before they bow into World Cup qualifying action.

West Indies Women Head Coach Courtney Walsh was impressed by the young bowlers, Qiana Joseph and Sheneta Grimmond, who performed well in the recent series against South Africa but insists that there is a need for greater levels of consistency from them.

Joseph, the 20-year-old left-arm spinner from St Lucia, was the leading wicket-taker for the West Indies Women with five wickets in the four ODI matches she played at an average of 19.40 and economy rate of 3.38.

Speaking to the media late last week, Walsh lauded Joseph’s performance during the series.

“Obviously, Qiana has played before but it’s the first time we were looking at her to play the role she did and she did it in both competitions; very, very satisfying,” Walsh said.

“We haven’t had a left-arm spinner for quite some time, most teams struggle against that or have that in their set up, so from a coaching perspective, it was something I had been very keen to have a look at and she has answered the right questions.

“She did well, it was very satisfying with her performance and how she went about it so it is definitely something to work on to give us those options with the bowling.”

Grimmond, the 23-year-old right-arm off-break bowler from Guyana, played in just two matches in the ODI series but four wickets at an average of 13.00 and an economy of 3.66.

“Grimmond came into the last two games and did well in the last game from a bowling perspective, so that is also another good question answered,” he said while also singling out Trinidadian Karishma Ramharack for praise on the strength of her best bowling figures of 3-8 in the T20 series.

“Ramharack did well in the T20 in the game she played and won Player of the Match, so these are some of the positive signs, what is lacking is the consistency and that is what we have to work on and which we will keep working on,” Walsh said.

“We want them to execute more consistently and once that is happening then it will give us more chances of winning games.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

West Indies Women Head Coach Courtney Walsh believes middle-order batter Rashada Williams is on the verge of breaking into the first team following her outstanding series against South Africa.

West Indies Women’s coach Courtney Walsh admits the team’s inability to properly rotate the strike was a disappointment during the recent series against South Africa, as it had been a key area of focus ahead of the games.

The regional team just managed to avoid being on the wrong end of a sweep, after winning the final game of the series in a super over.  The 4-1 scoreline was, however, an accurate reflection of the fact that the West Indies Women had struggled to keep pace with the South Africans for the great majority of the One Day Internationals.

One of those key areas was putting runs on the board, with the Windies Women on many occasions looking bogged down by South Africa’s bowling, before being dismissed after ill-advised shots.  On four occasions the team struggled to get to one 150, a target that seemed an easy reach for South Africa.

 “It’s a concern, the rotation of the strike, it’s something we’ve been talking about since the start of the camp but it was highlighted much more against South Africa,” Walsh told members of the media.

“In terms of just hitting the fielders and not being able to find gaps, not being able to play with soft hands and we have identified that,” he added.

“It has been an ongoing discussion before the series and it was one area I was disappointed in that we did not try to show that (strike rotation) because leading up to the series we had been practicing it, but match-day when we get out in the middle it wasn’t done.  We just kept picking out the fielders.  It’s the sort of the thing you have to do in 50 over games if you want to really compete and it has to be addressed.”

 

Coming off a successful series against Pakistan, West Indies Women Head Coach Courtney Walsh is expecting greater levels of consistency from his players when they take on South Africa in the first of three T20 Internationals in Antigua on Tuesday.

During the series that the West Indies won 3-2 over Pakistan, the Caribbean women benefitted from players like Kyshona Knight and Britney Cooper stepped up with the bat to support Captain Stafanie Taylor and Hayley Matthews, especially in light of Deandra Dottin’s poor form.

On the eve of the series against South Africa, Walsh says he expects even better performances from his players against a tough South African contingent.

“We are looking to execute a lot better than we did against Pakistan. Obviously, South Africa being ranked above us we have to be a lot more consistent than we were against Pakistan, so we will be looking to execute a lot better and improve. We know that they are a decent team and we have to be ready for that,” said Walsh.

He said it was a good sign to see players other than the ‘big three’ step up and wants to see more of that against South Africa.

“That’s the only way we are going to get the team where I think we can compete against the top teams and give ourselves a chance of winning major competitions.

“We have to move away from one or two players consistently getting us out of trouble so it was very good to see all the other players who performed well in the last series and we want that to continue and to try to extend that consistency from them, and once we can complement it with both departments, batting and bowling it will be good for us.

“And then, if we can complete the whole thing when we are in the field it would be excellent. So we just need to keep improving, raising the bar in those areas that we have to. It’s good to see other players putting their hands up and we want to see more of that.”

West Indies Women finished the CG Insurance One Day International Series against Pakistan Women with a 3-2 series victory, despite losing the fifth and final match by 22 runs via the Duckworth/Lewis/Stern Method on Sunday.

A stunning goal and a beautiful assist by 19-year-old Dwayne “Busy” Atkinson gave a youthful Cavalier FC a deserved  2-0 win over an ageing Humble Lion team in the feature encounter at the UWI-JFF Captain Horace Burrell Centre of Excellence on Saturday.

The lively Atkinson, who came on as a 46th-minute substitute, fired a dipping shot from 25 metres that whistled past a bewildered Dennis Taylor in goal for Humble Lion in the 77th minute.

It was a beautiful goal deserving to be the first of this new season from a  player, who Head Coach Rudolph Speid said was arguably the best player in the country when he was just 15-years-old.

Then in time added on in the 90+2, Atkinson latched onto a ball at the halfway line and in one motion with the outside of his right foot, curled a beautiful through ball into the path of fellow substitute Courtney Allen, who rounded the goalkeeper and slotted home.

It was three very good points for a spritely and youthful Cavalier team with an average age of 20 years and they have thrown down the gauntlet that they will be contenders.

The Clarendon-based Humble Lion unbelievably averaging 32 years, was left stunned by the young guns with some early soul searching needed as to the make-up of their ageing squad.

Man-of-the-Match Atkinson, formerly of Kingston College, said he will be hoping to keep the legacy going set by the former young guns of Cavalier who are now playing overseas.

Meanwhile winning coach Everdean Scarlett, was not surprised by Cavalier’s energy.

“My team gave a good performance of themselves and in the end, it was youthful exuberance that prevailed,” noted Scarlett.

Losing coach Andrew Price said his ageing men could not respond to the more energetic younger Cavalier boys. “We had about 14 training sessions and definitely this Cavalier team has been training long before us and they are a much fitter and younger bunch,” Price pointed out.

“Fatigue set in and we had to make some substitutions but it’s a learning curve. The mind is saying they can do thing but their body won’t allow  them,” said Price

“In the second half Cavalier really turn on the burners on us. But it’s the first game so I won’t mark them too hard,” he added.

West Indies Women’s head coach Courtney Walsh plans to focus on improving the mental and technical skills of the 30 players currently encamped in Antigua for the next month in preparation for international matches including the World Cup qualifiers later this year.

According to the former West Indies fast bowler turned coach, the upskilling of the women will be a continuation of what began when the women were called to camp in January this year.

Over the past few years, West Indies Women, world champions in 2016, has fallen down the pecking order in world cricket, struggling to make high scores when players like Deandra Dottin, Stafanie Taylor or Hayley Matthews fail to make big scores.

This was evident when the West Indies were swept 5-0 during a five T20 series against England in September 2020, when the side failed to achieve a score of 140 runs in any of the matches. England, meanwhile, scored over 140 runs in all but one of the matches.

Walsh believes that for that trend to end the team cannot rely on just two or three players.

 “Consistency can’t be just three players. If we are playing six or seven batters, not everybody is to come off all the time but we need to have four or five batters to be consistently producing. It can’t be the same three all the time,” said Walsh, who also indicated that there are other areas in which they have to improve as well.

“They also have to be aware of the game situation, so we are going to combine both as we are going to have the batters being a lot more consistent and not just depend on two or three players.”

Walsh revealed that there are signs that the camp in January had already begun to yield positive indicators of the change required.

“We started some drills in the last camp so it will be a continuation of that. We saw where we were getting a little more consistency. We saw where we able to bat 50 overs because in the first game that didn’t happen but in the last two games that happened,” Walsh said referring to three intra-squad practice matches played while in the camp that month.

“I also think it was the mindset as well so those areas we are going to be working on, with the mental skills we are going to stay there (at the crease) and we want them to be technically sound as well to be able to deliver.”

 

 

 

 

 

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.”

The Cricket West Indies (CWI) Selection Panel has named 30 players for an estimated month-long West Indies Women’s high-performance camp to be held in Antigua starting on May 2.

This will be the second such month-long camp in 2021 assembled under the guidance of Head Coach Courtney Walsh and his support team.

With the ICC Women’s World Cup Qualifiers now rescheduled for December, Coach Walsh has devised a programme to maximize team preparations ahead of international cricket and the qualifiers later in the year.

“The purpose of this camp is to work on consistency and game awareness. The last camp was more observational, and we got a pretty good idea of where the ladies are at. There are 30 players coming in and a few of them are coming in nursing injuries, so the coaching staff and medical team are ready to work with all of them,” he said.

“We are going to use this camp to see as much of the players as possible. I am most excited to see the younger ones coming into the camp because we’re trying to build the pool of players available. So, I think it’ll be a great opportunity for these youngsters and the other new players to grasp the chance before them.”

Among the 30 players called up for the camp are eight (8) uncapped players including teenagers Zaida James from St. Lucia and Jannillea Glasgow from St. Vincent and the Grenadines. James is a left-arm medium-pacer while Glasgow is a right-arm medium pacer.

The other uncapped players are Rashada Williams, Caneisha Isaac, Shanika Bruce, Mandy Mangru and Rachel Vincent. Making a return to the camp is left-handed wicket-keeper/batter Kycia Knight.

CWI’s Lead Selector for Women’s cricket, Ann Browne-John was excited by the bigger pool of players for this camp.

 “It is very important to have the West Indies players back in a training camp as the coaches can continue to help them hone their skills as we prepare for our next series. Most of the top international teams have now restarted playing and it is critical for the WI team to prepare as we anticipate more international cricket coming up this summer,” she said while indicating that the camp will also focus on specific areas for development.

“In an effort to continue to unearth talent, eight players have been included who were not in the January camp. It serves as an opportunity for the coaches and selectors to look at some of the young up and coming players. Due to the pandemic, a regional tournament has not been held yet, so the players haven’t had the opportunity to impress the selectors in competitive matches.

“Heavy emphasis has been placed on batters including first-timers Rachel Vincent, an opening batter from Trinidad and Tobago, and Mandy Mangru, a young player from Guyana who has been impressive in the Under-19 tournament. The camp also includes two young teenage medium pacers, Zaida James and Jannillea Glasgow.”

Cricket West Indies (CWI) has been working closely with the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Sport in Antigua & Barbuda to orchestrate logistics and agree on the safety protocols for the camp after the successful hosting of the first Women’s high-performance camp, the CG Insurance Super50 Cup and the West Indies Men’s International Home Series against Sri Lanka. All players and support staff were tested with negative COVID-19 results before their arrival in Antigua. The players and support staff will train and live in a bio-secure bubble for the duration of the camp.

Full squad: Aaliyah Alleyne, Reniece Boyce, Shanika Bruce, Shemaine Campbelle, Shamilia Connell, Britney Cooper, Deandra Dottin, Cherry Ann Fraser, Shabika Gajnabi, Jannillea Glasgow, Sheneta Grimmond, Shawnisha Hector, Chinelle Henry, Caneisha Isaac, Zaida James, Japhina Joseph, Qiana Joseph, Kycia Knight, Kyshona Knight, Mandy Mangru, Hayley Matthews, Anisa Mohammed, Chedean Nation, Karishma Ramharack, Kaysia Schultz, Shakera Selman, Steffi Soogrim, Stafanie Taylor, Rachel Vincent and Rashada Williams.

The team-management unit comprises Courtney Walsh - Head Coach; Sheena Gooding - Team Manager; Ryan Austin - Assistant Coach; Corey Collymore - Assistant Coach; Steve Liburd - Assistant Coach; Samantha Lynch - Assistant Coach; Robert Samuels - Assistant Coach; Neil Barry – Physiotherapist; Shayne Cooper - Strength & Conditioning

West Indies Women’s Head Coach Courtney Walsh was impressed with the efforts of emerging bowlers  Steffi Soogrim and Kaysia Schultz who delivered standout performances during the squad’s first intra-squad 50-over match Antigua Thursday.

Twenty-Four West Indies Women cricketers will gather in Antigua from this weekend at the Coolidge Cricket Ground (CCG) for a three-week high-performance training programme.

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