West Indies captain Hayley Matthews has hailed the launch of the Barbados Royals Girls Cricket club in her native Barbados as a significant developmental move for women’s cricket on the island.

“I think it is huge. It is something that we definitely needed in Barbados for a long time now,” Matthews said.

The club was launched this past weekend at the Passage Road Playing Field in St Michael, and big names in attendance included Matthews, former England captain Mike Gatting, West Indies Women’s T20 World Cup winner Stacey-Ann King, and West Indies selector Roland Butcher, the first black man to play for international cricket England.

Barbados Royals Girls Cricket Club will seek to provide mentorship and resources to 100 young ladies as they seek to foster their cricket development.

“I honestly think it’s something that has been needed for a very long time and that’s why I’m so happy to see it come to fruition. Hopefully we can see this thing really take off and present girls with a lot more opportunities,” said the 25-year-old Matthews, currently ranked as the World No.1 all-rounder in Women’s T20 cricket.

“I think that to be able to give young girls from age six and up the opportunity to be able to come out here and fall in love with the game of cricket is a great first step in Barbados and hopefully we can (more) see stuff like this moving forward,” she added.

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