ST JOHN’S Antigua, CMC – Chairman of West Indies selectors, Courtney Browne, believes the regional women’s side are good enough to defend their title and win the Women’s Twenty20 World Cup for a second time.
Browne made this assertion as the players continued their preparation camp here for the global event, to be played in the Caribbean from November 2-25.
Several key players, including talismanic skipper Stafanie Taylor, ace spinner Anisa Mohammed, along with opener Hayley Matthews and wicketkeeper Merissa Aguilleira, will be together for six months in the build-up to the tournament.
The official tournament matches will be played at the Sir Vivian Richards Cricket Ground in Antigua, Darren Sammy Stadium in St Lucia and the National Stadium at Providence in Guyana.
Under the captaincy of the dynamic Stafanie Taylor, the Windies won the last T20 World Cup in India two years ago, to lift their first major international title.
The triumph came on the same day the men’s team, under Sammy, won the corresponding title.
“We have a great team here preparing and I know they will do very well,” Browne said.
“There’s a bit of time to go before the tournament, and it’s an example, forward-thinking idea from Cricket West Indies to get them into camp and get the preparation right. We want to peak at the right time and that time will be in November.”
He continued: “On any given day, any team can win. We have to do the right things and prepare the team properly and thoroughly to ensure we get the right amount of work to improve our skill and our overall preparation.
“It is an important year for women’s cricket. We didn’t have a good year last year. We had a few good moments and a good series (at home against Sri Lanka).”
Browne said women’s cricket was on a rapid rise globally and this year’s world event should provide a true reflection of the quality of play.
He added that the upcoming Cricket West Indies T20 Blaze and Super50 tournaments in Jamaica in June would give the Windies selectors a further gauge of regional talent.
“This camp is critical. We want to start to look like the team that won last World T20,” Browne pointed out. “We will be defending that title here in the Caribbean and our women will be quite familiar with the conditions. The things we all have to be mindful of is that women’s cricket across the world has really become consistent and we are seeing a much-improved brand of cricket, so we have to keep pace and remain among the top teams.
“The tournament in Jamaica is another key tournament. We are looking to draw from the regional tournament. We expect all players to showcase their talent and put themselves in line for selection for the second portion of the camp and the world tournament.”