Following her maiden call up to train with the West Indies senior women’s team, Shabika Gajnabi vows to capitalize on the opportunity and make her family proud.
The 17-year-old Gajnabi is the lone new face in the West Indies women’s 14-member squad as they begin their preparations for their World T20 title defence.
The squad will take part in a one-month camp in Antigua beginning tomorrow until May 30 under Head Coach Hendy Springer and assistant Stuart Williams.
Gajnabi, in an exclusive interview with Stabroek Sport, said she was tremendously excited when she got the call.
“It was about 5:30pm and I had just came home from practice when I got a call saying I was selected for the West Indies training camp and the excitement rushed through my body,” Gajnabi stated.
The talented teen has been captain of the Guyana Under-19 female team for the last two years and a mainstay in the senior Guyana team since 2016 with a highest score of 49 and a four-wicket haul already in the books.
“I am taking this very serious because it is an opportunity to make the West Indies team,” Gajnabi said. The former Port Mourant Secondary School student, who bowls medium pace and bats at the top of the order began playing cricket at age five but joined the Rose Hall Town Youth and Sports Club at 12-years-old before making her debut for the Guyana Under-19 side one year later.
The right handed batter said she is thankful to her father Fajir Gajnabi and her cousin Shanezza Haniff for their support and vows to make them proud.
Gajnabi added that playing for the West Indies has long been a dream for her and her family and she is focused and dedicated to making it a reality now that she is one step closer.
She pointed out that West Indies and Guyana national player, Shamaine Campbelle has been crucial to her game, having worked with her and developed her into what she is today as a cricketer.
West Indies will play host to the ICC T20 World Cup from November 9-24.
SQUAD – Stafanie Taylor, Merissa Aguilleira, Shemaine Campbelle, Shamilia Connell, Britney Cooper, Shabika Gajnabi, Kycia Knight, Hayley Matthews, Anisa Mohammed, Chedean Nation, Reniece Boyce, Felicia Walters, Akeira Peters and Shekera Selman