Top Barbados and West Indies’ cricketer Deandra Dottin is akin to the proverbial man who is not without honour save in his own country.
In an interview with Barbados TODAY, Dottin who was named the Barbados Cricket Association’s 2013 Female Cricketer Of The Year on Friday, said no matter how much she excels, she does not get the kind of recognition in her homeland that she deserves. This, she added, even as a former three-time CARIFTA gold medallist in the javelin, discus and shot-put.
“I don’t think I get the kind of respect I deserve when it comes to being in Barbados. The reason why I left athletics is because I realized it wasn’t doing anything for me. For instance, one year I was the triple gold medallist and another athlete won gold in the pentathlon that same year and he got the praise he deserved and I never got anything, I was like trash.
“No matter how much you excel or how much you do, other people come and get push rather than you getting that push, so that is what I mean when I say I do not get the respect that I deserve. And I feel if I was in Jamaica or one of those other countries which really give their sports people the attention, I would have been much better,” Dottin said.
The right-handed batter also made reference to one of the highlights of her career when she became the first woman to score a century [112 not out] in Twenty20 International cricket against South Africa at Warner Park, St Kitts. Dottin noted that most of the acclaim afterwards came from persons outside of Barbados.
“It meant a lot to me but to others it wasn’t. Because where I scored the hundred, that’s where I got the praise, congratulations and gifts. But in Barbados it didn’t mean anything to them,” she said.
Dottin, who made her international debut for the West Indies in 2008 at age 16, had a fine 2013 season both locally and on the international stage. In the domestic season for the Angela Harris Tridents in the BCA Iris Walker Twenty20 tournament, she scored 350 runs with two centuries and one fifty at a fantastic strike rate of 193.37 in four matches, with her highest score being 159 not out.
She also stamped her authority in the three-day format of the game with 223 runs which included one century. The phenomenal athlete continued to prove herself on the international arena by becoming the first West Indies female cricketer to play 50 Twenty20 Internationals when the home girls won against South Africa by eight wickets at the Beausejour Stadium in St Lucia in January.
The 22-year-old hard-hitting batter told Barbados TODAY she had no intention of resting on her laurels and would continue to strive toward greater heights.
“A the end of the day, this is my life and I have to do what I have to and I intend to continue to work hard at my game and continue to write my name on history’s page. So for the upcoming tours I am just looking to make the best out of them and show what I am made off.”
Dottin expressed her pleasure at the BCA award.
“It feels great to be the BCA cricketer of the year for the first time. And even though I am not where I want to be in terms of my game, I intend to work even harder in order to get to where I want to be. I sit and analyze a couple players like Chris Gayle and Dwayne Smith and some of the former greats like Sir Vivian Richards and take a chapter out of their game in order to improve my game and hit the ball more explosively,” Dottin said.
The former Frederick Smith Secondary student said while growing up she used to play cricket with her brothers but never imagined wearing the maroon colours of the West Indies women’s team. After moving away from athletics and being introduced to domestic cricket by Barbadian cricketer Pamela Lavine, Dottin said she eventually started to take the sport seriously.
“I decided to move away from athletics and move to cricket and it has worked for me in a good way. I wouldn’t say I always knew I had the ability to play cricket, I just used to play with my brothers and the fellows in the street but I never took it seriously until Pamela Lavine introduced me to the game,” she said.
Currently ranked at No. 5 in One-Day Internationals and 13 in Twenty20 Internationals, the former Barbados Under-19 captain has a few goals in mind which she would like to accomplish in the not too distant future. She wants to be ranked number one in the world in both formats of the game. She also wants to repeat her previous brilliant performance with scoring another century in the Twenty20 format.
Dottin also stated she would like to become the female version of West Indies legend Sir Garfield Sobers by scoring six consecutive sixes in a single over.
Another major goal she has is to one day lead both the Barbados national team and the West Indies.
“I am not ready at the moment to captain the national side but maybe one day I would be able to. Where the West Indies team is concerned I am definitely not ready but that is something to look forward to in the long run,” Dottin said.