KINGSTON, Jamaica, CMC- Former West Indies cricketer Clyde Butts believes the forthcoming tour of the Caribbean by England and New Zealand will help bolster women’s cricket in the region.
New Zealand arrive first for a bilateral ODI series with West Indies starting October 6, to be followed by a T20 tri-series also featuring England.
England will remain for a three-match one-day tournament which culminates on November 3.
“We need these tests and rivalries. To have two of the three top women’s teams playing in the Caribbean will do a lot for women’s cricket and I expect our team to be ready and able to be competitive against them,” said Butts, the chairman of the West Indies selection committee.
“We always want to play top-level opponents like Australia and now, we have two. We’ve clashed with India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh in the past and with England and New Zealand, I can only see us improving by playing them.”
West Indies have announced a 17-member training squad, which will be preparing from September 22 to 30 in Jamaica.
The final squad of 13 for the series against New Zealand will be chosen at the end of the camp and Butts was optimistic about the home team’s prospects.
“Looking at the past year or so, our ladies have done well,” he said.
“At the last ODI World Cup, we made the finals and our 50-over squad reflects how good we are. Most of the players from that tournament have been retained. They are capable and we saw this in the regional performances (last month in Grenada).”
The former Windies off-break bowler has picked out 18-year old uncapped batsman, Chinelle Henry, as one to watch and says he is excited at the return of Stacy-Ann King, who last played for West Indies during the World T20 last year. “
“Chinelle is a capable player and strikes the ball very nicely. We expect some good things from her in the future. She has been around the Jamaica team for a long time, but she is still very young,” said Butts, “Stacy can play at the highest level. She’s been batting well recently and her bowling’s improved.”