SOUTHAMPTON, England –Head coach Vasbert Drakes believes West Indies Women possess the skill-set and the knowledge required to excel in the challenging English conditions during the upcoming Women’s World Cup.
England, known for its damp, bleak weather even during summer, has become notorious for the swinging ball – a proven bane for many an experienced batsman in the past.
Drakes said he hoped a combination of information and technique could nullify this threat in the June 24 to July 23 campaign.
“I would have played certainly in England and we have coaches that have played in England and I think the knowledge that we have should make a difference in terms of being able to pass on information,” the well-travelled former West Indies seamer said.
“The wickets in England this time of year when I did my research, they seem to be a lot more batting friendly. People talk about the ball swinging in England – the ball swings all around the world so if you have decent fundamentals it certainly would give you a chance to achieve the desired results.”
West Indies arrived Wednesday for a two-week camp at the Ageas Bowl, the home of Hampshire County Club, as they seek to acclimatise to the English conditions.
And with many of the players touring England for the first time, captain Stafanie Taylor stressed the importance of application, especially among the batting group.
“It’s going to test your mental [strength]. I think with the 50-over game you have more balls,” the world-rated right-hander pointed out.
“You have to try to leave alone some, you’ve got to watch it straight onto the bat and it’s all about applying yourself.”
West Indies enter the tournament as one of the favourites, especially after capturing the Twenty20 World Cup last year in India.
They were also beaten finalists in the last 50-over World Cup in India four years ago and impressed during the ICC Women’s Championship series to finish fourth and book an automatic spot in the upcoming tournament.
Drakes said the squad was full of quality players who were yet to reach their full potential and once improvement continued to occur, the Windies could be serious threats.
“A lot of learning would have took place since I took over from [Sherwin] Campbell who would have done a really good job,” he noted.
“Certainly I’ve got a better understanding of the players and stuff like that by being a lot closer to them. I see they have certainly grown as individuals and I think if you’re going to be honest, a lot of the players are still 24, 25 and this team have a hell of a lot of potential and I still believe they can get better as a group.
“My job is to continue to challenge them, challenge myself to get the best out of the players. Presently I’m enjoying where we are at a group, I think everyone is in a really good head space and if we can continue in that manner, we can do something special.”