Barbados and West Indies pace bowler Shakera Selman is working hard to be consistent with the ball and expand her variations as she looks forward to a packed schedule this year.
The 31-year-old who for the first time has joined the Cricket West Indies CG Super50 commentary team said for her this is a big year both for Barbados and the West Indies.
The Barbados women will be seeking to qualify for the 2022 Commonwealth Games while West Indies women will face the challenge of qualifying for the 2022 Women’s 50-over World Cup. As such, Selman will have a crucial part to play as a senior player.
“My goals are to lead the bowling attack, whilst aiming to produce match-winning performances, and to continue to have a positive impact both on and off the field, especially on the juniors,” Selman told Barbados TODAY.
Plagued with a knee injury for a lengthy part of her career, Selman explained that she was not yet satisfied with her recovery. However, she noted that work was being done behind the scenes to get her back to where she needs to be.
“I’ve struggled with a knee injury for an extended period of my career but I’ve been constantly working with physios and doctors to ensure that it doesn’t affect my ability to perform.
“With regards to my fitness, I’m never quite satisfied but I have been putting in lots of fitness work behind the scenes and I think that once I can finally conquer my knee issue, then I can reach optimum fitness,” Selman explained.
One of 24 senior West Indies female cricketers that completed a recent training camp at the Coolidge Cricket Ground in Antigua, Selman said she felt extremely fortunate to receive guidance from head coach and legendary West Indies fast bowler Courtney Walsh.
According to the right-handed medium-pace bowler, since Walsh took over as head coach of the West Indies women, he has constantly encouraged her to back her skills and stay confident.
“The training camp was really good. It was intense and challenging but it was also enjoyable to train as a team again and to have some younger players involved.
“Our fast bowlers are quite fortunate to have such a legend be our head coach and I should think we are all keen on learning everything we can about bowling from him. He’s been able to share his knowledge on reading the game, adjusting to conditions, situations and batters quickly and bowling consistently good areas,” she added.
There are plans for the women’s regional tournament and the 50-over Qualifiers in June. Selman is excited and anxiously looking forward to participating in both.
Adjusting to the new norms of the Coronavirus pandemic, Selman said she is hoping to be given the opportunity to take part in any league.
“Honestly though, I’d be grateful to get the chance to take part in any sort of cricket, especially in these uncertain times. I’m excited to possibly be taking part in both of these and I’m hoping to be given the opportunity to take part in any league,” she said.
While her focus is on West Indies, Selman is also fully committed to Barbados cricket and revealed that she was looking forward to taking on a mentorship role as one of the senior members of the team.
“Nothing excites me more than the opportunity to mentor and inspire youngsters. We’re perhaps going to see a bigger influx of young cricketers in the set-up this year and I gleefully anticipate guiding these and leading them by good example.
“This is also perhaps the biggest year of regional cricket as all teams will be vying for the chance to represent the Caribbean at the next Commonwealth Games so I’m excitedly awaiting the challenge,” said Selman, a former Barbados captain.