Members of the West Indies Women’s team have been urged to put big runs on the scoreboard when they compete in two friendly matches over the next two days.
The West Indies Cricket Board’s Selection Panel named 18 of the region’s best players for a month-long camp and the players met today in a 50-over match and will play a second game tomorrow at the Banks Brewery Cricket Ground.
Head coach Sherwin Campbell said he was extremely pleased with the level of commitment demonstrated by the players and challenged them to produce and make wise use of their time in the middle.
The former Barbados and West Indies opening batsman said batting had been the team’s major concern since he took over the job four years ago, but he was happy to see signs of improvement.
The camp ends this Friday and is being used as preparation for next month’s seven-match home series against South Africa and the ICC Women’s World Cup, to be played in Mumbai, India from January 31 to February 17.
“We are hoping to see a lot of runs on the board. It is always good to see the batters getting big runs. The girls have worked overtime in the nets and in the indoors facilities during the camp and we want to see that the work is paying off. Scoring runs is a habit so if they start scoring from now and lead into the South Africa series and on into the World Cup, this should serve us in good stead,” Campbell said.
“Along with making runs, they have to spend time in the middle and apply the skills they acquired during the camp. The girls are beginning to understand better what is required and we hope to see even bigger scores this week.”
The West Indies team includes some of the leading batters in world cricket. Stafanie Taylor is the Number 1 all-rounder in the world and two-time winner of the ICC Women’s Cricketer of the Year Award. Deandra Dottin is one of the most destructive hitters in the women’s game and holds the world record for the fastest century in a T20 International.
However, the batting was inconsistent during the West Indies’ campaign at the ICC World T20 in Sri Lanka three months ago and as a result they were defeated by champions Australia in the semi-finals.
Campbell noted that the matter of the batting meltdown was discussed in full and addressed in detail during the camp.
“Batting was my concern coming out of Sri Lanka. We desperately want to get this area of our game right. It is our number one priority and we dedicated a lot of time and effort to see players being more consistent as individuals, and this will benefit the overall team,” added Campbell, a former West Indies vice-captain.
“The bowling has been our strength for a while now. During the camps we urged the fast bowlers to be more aggressive upfront with the new ball and to look for those early wickets. We are going into a lot of 50-over cricket in the coming weeks and wickets at the start of the innings are crucial,” he said.Campbell added: “We have seen clear signs of improvement. These two games this week should offer more opportunity for the girls to get time in the middle to express themselves. We want runs on top of runs.” (windiescricket)††