Bridgetown, Barbados (WICB): The members of the West Indies Women’s training squad were given words of encouragement when the new Chief Executive Officer of the WICB, Michael Muirhead met with them. The meeting took place at the Sagicor High Performance Centre, where the Windies are encamped for a month as they prepare to face South Africa in a seven-match series in January. It was Muirhead’s first meeting with the team and he said he was pleased to see the level of enthusiasm and camaraderie among the 18 players.
“Women’s cricket is growing across the West Indies and across the world, and at the WICB we are delighted with the progress being made by the West Indies team in such a short period of time. We have a wonderful group of players here and they are superb ambassadors for West Indies cricket and regional cricket. They have done a great job in promoting the brand with their performances on the world stage in a short space of time. People see them as future world-beaters and look forward to seeing them play,” Muirhead said.
“Obviously the women’s game is not as widespread as the men’s game, but we are hoping that this group of excellent players we have here will continue to demonstrate improvement and help to encourage more players to participate in the game. These are exciting times in West Indies cricket and we are looking at ways to grow the game and multiply the number of people playing, participating and watching across the West Indies.”
During the meeting, the CEO told the players that the WICB remains committed to the development of the women’s game in the region and is looking at ways to offer more support to the players. “The WICB is in the forefront in offering Central Retainer Contracts to women’s cricketers and we are looking at ways to offer even more support to the players, who have done us proud. We see this as a truly worthwhile investment.”
Speaking directly to the players, he said: “I want you all to be proud of the crest you wear. We have a rich history in West Indies cricket and everyone of you who wears this crest should be proud of yourself and the people you are representing. West Indies cricket is about the passion, the culture, the enjoyment, the history and what it means to the people.”
The West Indies women’s team has showed progress since the WICB took over the running of the game five years ago. Under the captaincy of Merissa Aguilleria and coaching of Sherwin Campbell, the West Indies reached the semi-finals of the ICC World T20 on two consecutive occasions – 2010 when the event was played in the Caribbean and two months ago in Sri Lanka.
Several Windies players are ranked among the best players in the world. Stafanie Taylor is the Number 1 allrounder. She won the prestigious ICC Women’s Player of the Year award in 2011. Deandra Dottin holds the world record for the fastest century in a T20 International by men or women, while allrounder Shanel Daley and off-spinner Anisa Mohammed are ranked in the Top 10.
The West Indies women’s squad will be encamped at the Sagicor High Performance Centre until December 15. They will face South Africa in five One-Day Internationals and two T20 Internationals. The full match schedule will be announced shortly. The ICC Women’s World Cup India 2013 will be held in Mumbai from January 31 to February 17. The tournament will feature the top eight ODI women’s sides in the world - Australia, England, India, New Zealand, Pakistan, South Africa, Sri Lanka and West Indies.
The matches will be played at five venues across Mumbai, which are: Wankhede Stadium, Bandra Kurla Complex (BKC), Cricket Club of India (CCI), Middle Income Group Club Ground (MIG) and DY Patil Stadium.
FULL TRAINING SQUAD: