(WICB) Bridgetown, Barbados – The two newcomers in the West Indies Women’s team are focused on the same thing.
Shaquana Quintyne, the 15-year-old leg-spinner, and Kycia Knight, the 19-year-old wicket-keeper and left-handed batter, are determined to do West Indies proud and make a contribution to the team’s success.The Windies are preparing for a series against Pakistan, which starts at month-end and will feature four One Day International and four T20 Internationals. Quintyne is slim and small with an eye-catching smile. She is shy and soft-spoken but when she talks about cricket it you see the passion and desire she has for the game.“I just love playing cricket.
I started playing when I was seven (years old) and I have enjoyed every minute on the cricket field. Playing cricket comes naturally. I always play to win. I don’t like losing.”She first fell in love with the game while watching it on television. She was captivated by the elegance of Sachin Tendulkar and the big-hitting of Chris Gayle and Shahid Afridi.Her mother, Joy-Ann, and grandfather Junior Branch, who is an umpire in Barbados, encouraged her to chase the dream.
She started as a medium-pacer, but at age nine her coach at the Passage United Club, Richard Clarke, saw something special and suggested a change to leg-spin.
The move paid off.“From young I wanted to be a cricketer and when I told my mother she encouraged me to go for my dream. She always encourages me to think big and work hard.“She came to watch all my matches for Barbados in the tournament and that helped me to focus. During the tournament I was not focusing on making the West Indies team, I was determined to help Barbados do well and make my family proud,” Quintyne said.“Honestly, I was quite surprised to be picked in the West Indies team, but now I have made it, I want to give my all and stay in the team and do West Indies proud,” said the Garrison School student. Quintyne is also a capable batter and
holds two batting records in Barbados club cricket – 176 in the 40-over tournament and 150 not out in the T20 competition. She was first selected for Barbados at age 13 to play in the West Indies Women’s League and this year she was very impressive and earned a call-up to international stage.If she plays against Pakistan she will be the second youngest West Indian to play at international level.
The youngest was off-spinner Anisa Mohammed who made her debut in Holland at age 14 in 2003.Knight is fun-loving and full of energy and this rubs off on team-mates. She is one of the leading sportswomen
in Barbados. She has represented the island in international football and track and field at the Junior Central American and Caribbean Games. She also plays hockey and volleyball for Springer Memorial School in Barbados. She has indicated that cricket is her preferred game and she will be dedicating most of her time to improving her batting and keeping skills. Her twin sister Kyshonna was also a member of the Barbados cricket team and has also played football for the island and participated in the CARIFTA Games. Both sisters are currently enrolled at the Barbados Community College where they are pursuing the Associate Degree in Physical Education. Both plan to do degrees in Sports Science.
“It is a great feeling to make the West Indies team. During the tournament (WICB Women’s League) I went out and focused on the job of doing well for Barbados. I was not thinking about making the West Indies team. I knew if I did well for the people of Barbados, some day I would get a chance to play for the people of the West Indies. It is an honour and a privilege to be selected for the West Indies team. Women’s cricket is growing in the West Indies and I would like to be part of a West Indies team which can go on to be the best in the world,” she said. “Everyone is so happy for me, especially my sister. She told me she is coming next. We have always been encouraged to play sports. From when we were very young we showed our athletic ability and our family would take us to all the sports events. We owe them a lot for seeing the talent and desire and helping us. I remember going to Kensington Oval to watch cricket and that is when I fell in love with the game.
I would sit and watch everything Brian Lara did on the field. I loved that!”
Kycia said. She credits the advice of coach Ezra Moseley, the former Barbados and West Indies all-rounder, for the rapid improvement in her overall game.“He has been a tremendous help. He has helped me with my batting and also talked a lot about understanding the game and the history of the game,” Kycia said.“I just want to put all I have learned into my game when I get a chance to play for the West Indies.