ST JOHN’S, Antigua – West Indies Women head coach, Courtney Walsh, says the ongoing three-week camp is “no short-term fix” as he is under no illusions about the size of the task before him, in restoring the Caribbean side to a prominent place in world cricket.
Only five years ago, West Indies Women were good enough to win the Twenty20 World Cup in India but have seen their form plummet in both formats since. They now face a tricky qualifying tournament in Sri Lanka next July if they are to reach the 2022 50-over showpiece.
“We have regressed since  obviously. Since my short stint with them, confidence, self-belief, improving in all areas have sort of fallen down a little bit. That’s obvious to see,” Walsh pointed out.
“And a lot of work is going to be required to get us back to where we can be. In terms of the ability and talent, we have it but our work ethic and our fitness levels have to step up, so we have to look all round.
“Our entire approach to the game has to change because right around, everybody else have leaped above us so we now have to play catch-up.
“We’re ranked sixth in both competitions and I think we can be higher than that and we have to be higher than that so there’s a lot of work to be done.”
After stunning Australia in the final of the 2016 event, things quickly fell apart for the Windies Women.
A year later, they won just two of seven games at the 50-over World Cup in England, setting in train a nightmare run of form that has seen them win just one of seven ODI series and six of 20 matches since.
Their fortunes in the shorter format have also suffered, losing 15 of their last 22 T20 Internationals and their last 13 on the trot – including successive 5-0 drubbings at the hands of India and England in their last two series.
“Other teams have gone past us because they have improved and worked at their all-round game performances, their mentality, their fitness – the whole nine yards,” Walsh continued.
“We are now putting those sorts of things in place. The girls did a programme from November in terms of fitness and skill set … because we are trying to ensure everybody is up to par or up to a certain level.”
Walsh is overseeing his first camp with the women’s side since taking charge last October and will have the opportunity to assess the development of 24 players over the next three weeks.
And the fast-bowling legend said the camp was aimed at kick-starting a new thrust that would result in the overall success of the team.
“This camp will assess them … to see how much improvement is going to be needed for the next few months after this,” Walsh stressed.
“It’s not just a short-term fix. We’re looking at the long term to ensure we set the standard and we can maintain that right throughout.”
He added: “It’s an assessment camp for me to have a benchmark as to where the ladies are and where we would like to get them in the next couple of months going forward.
“Short term or long term, it’s a camp that I’m looking at to set the foundation going forward in terms of West Indies cricket and women’s cricket.
“As you know, the sport is evolving so we want to put a template in place that can be a good guideline for the ladies currently playing now, and hopefully we can get a couple youngsters [coming through] in a few months’ time.” (CMC)