In prime form, few would argue that West Indies Women all-rounder Shanel Daley was one of the brightest talents in the region and destined for great things.

In 70 One Day Internationals (ODIs) her total of 73 wickets puts her at third for the West Indies, behind Stafanie Taylor (142), top wicket-taker Anisha Mohammed (151), but ahead of noted all-rounder Deandre Dottin (69).  An even closer look will tell you that Daley achieved her total in much fewer games, with Taylor achieving her total in 126, Mohammed in 122, and Dotin needing 117.

In 68 T20 internationals, the order is much the same, with Daley’s tally of 72 leaving her behind Taylor (94) and Mohammed (111) but above Dottin (61).  Again, Daley’s wicket haul has come in fewer games.

With the bat, she has totaled a handy 1001 runs, which is 7th on the list but in fewer matches than everyone else above her, with the exception of specialist batsman Haley Matthews.

Things, however, began to go off track for Daley when she suffered a severe knee injury in 2015, which kept her out of the game for a year.  She returned to the sport but never quite seemed to attain the same heights.  Following the team’s disastrous showing at the 2017 50-over World Cup, in England, and the loss of her retainer contract, Daley had had enough.

“The World Cup in England, that was a rough, rough tournament.  Prior to that tournament, I had just got back, I was trying to recover from my knee injury and all the other things that were happening,” Daley told The Commentators podcast.

“It was a rough tour and I thought about it (leaving the sport) based on everything that was happening…the injury was one of the biggest things that caused me to take some time for myself, maybe it was the right time, maybe it was the wrong time.  It was based on how I was feeling mentally and emotionally about cricket, especially in the region, I felt like we weren’t moving forward,” she added.

“With the injury, I wondered what if this happened again, what am I going to do.  I felt like an outcast sometimes, even though my teammates supported me to the best of their ability.”

After some time off, Daley, who also spoke up about her difficult battle with depression, is actively looking to get involved with the sport again, whether on or off the pitch.  She is, however, discouraged by the lack of opportunity for women, especially when it comes to the Jamaica Cricket Association.

“At the end of the day, we are representing our country.  As a female, I personally don’t feel appreciated by the board.  When it comes on to women, it’s always some excuse or some other thing.”   

 

West Indies legend Clive Lloyd has argued for a widening of the pool used to draft cricketers for the regional women’s team, in light of several poor showings in recent years.

The women team recently ended a disastrous tour of England, which ended with the ignominy of being swept aside 5-0.  The concerns for the 2016 World Cup champions, however, spread well beyond that.  The West Indies Women,  since being crowned world champions, have won just four of 10 series played and drawn one.  The wins have come against Pakistan and Ireland, with other results against more established teams like England, Australia, and India often featuring one-sided or heavy losses.

After watching the England series, however, Lloyd believes two things were clear.  There needed to be a better effort in developing the team’s grasp of the basics of the game and more competition was required to push players to do better.

“A lot of players are having technical difficulties.  Shrubsole, she is the opening bowler (for England), she bowls inswingers.  We’ve known that for years because we’ve seen her, and we’re trying to square-cut a woman with a new ball. If you look at the way they get out, they all play the same shots.  Everyone is getting out square-cutting.  Who is coaching these women?” Lloyd said recently on the Mason and Guest radio program.

“I think we need to have an overhaul of the situation and we have to try to get women from more islands playing cricket; so that these girls are going to be pushed, nobody is going to push them now because we are just choosing from a small crop of players,” he added.

The West Indies Women’s team has already made some changes to its program with men’s team bowling legend Courtney Walsh recently appointed as its new head coach.

Lead West Indies Women selector Ann Browne-John said she and her fellow selectors are concerned that there is not a deep enough pool of women to choose from to replace non-performing players in the West Indies Women’s team.

It was an issue they had planned to begin addressing during the regional women’s and U19 tournaments that were cancelled earlier this year because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

During the recent five-match tour of England, the Caribbean women were swept 5-0 in a woefully lop-sided series. Only Deandra Dottin walked away with her head held high scoring 185 runs at an average of 37 over the five matches. She also bowled well despite nursing a sore shoulder.

No other batter made 100 runs during the series. Captain Stafanie Taylor with 78 runs was the only player to come close while Hayley Matthews was the next best having scored 38 runs, 21 of them coming in a single inning. Other than Dottin and Taylor, no other batter had a double-digit average, an area of great concern for Browne-John.

“Most definitely, and we have recognized that fact,” she said while speaking on Sportsnation Live on Nationwide Radio in Jamaica on Saturday night.

She indicated that this was a concern that the selectors had been discussing for some time and which they had planned to begin looking into with the regional tournaments this year.

“Unfortunately, we were not able to have a regional senior or U19 tournament this year but that is something we have discussed as selectors; that we now have to start looking for the next group of players, the group that would normally be like an ‘A’ team or an U19 team. So we have to start finding that group of players and start nurturing that group,” she said.

Brown-John said the selectors had hoped that there would have been a “vibrant” U19 tournament as there was supposed to be an U19 World Cup in early 2021. “So, we were looking towards that tournament to find some talent and we were also hoping for the regional tournament to look, particularly for batters because that is the area in which we are struggling most,” she said.

“It was also mentioned that we don’t have left-hand batters in our top order, we have to pick somebody who is left-handed and who is performing, so that is another consideration.”

The selectors were also hoping to unearth a specific type of bowler as well, the lead selector revealed.

“We have a great number of offspinners but we only have one leg spinner in Afy Fletcher, but we don’t have a large number of left-arm orthodox bowlers,” she said. “When we go out, every team we face we come up against left-arm orthodox. We have to look for that kind of player in the Caribbean.”

 

 

 

 

On many a Sunday, I realize that people have looked at the stories they've seen throughout the week with different lenses. I have my own personal take on some of these issues and I will share them with you. Welcome to #INCASEYOUMISSEDIT

 

  1. Is Courtney Walsh the answer to the Windies women's woes?

Cricket West Indies (CWI) has appointed West Indies bowling legend Courtney Walsh as the new Head Coach of the West Indies Women’s team, at least up until the end of 2022. The retired fast bowler has served as an assistant coach with the Bangladesh men’s team and subsequently worked on a short-term contract with the West Indies Women’s team, including at the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup 2020 held in Australia earlier this year. Despite all this, I strongly believe it will take more than a new coach to help get our Windies women back to winning ways.

Since winning the World T20 title in 2016, the West Indies Women have experienced a steep decline in form. This was reflected in the 5-0 sweep at the hands of England last week.  Apart from the disappointing World Cup performances, they have won just four of 10 series played since and drawn one.  It is key to note that the wins came against Pakistan and Ireland.

 The fitness of the women has been called into question many times and it is evident in the poor fielding and batting performances. Most of the batters lack  the ability to hit with power and run consistently between the wickets.  All-rounder Deandra Dottin was the pick of the batters against England with a total of 185 runs at an average of 37. No other batter scored 100 runs during the series. Captain Stefanie Taylor came closest with 78 runs scored at an average of 26. The rest of the Windies women averaged single digits in the series.

 Despite Courtney Walsh’s expertise, our Windies women need new structure. It is evident that what exists is not working. Our women need opportunities to play more competitive cricket. They also need to work on their fitness and confidence. They need to bat better. We need more of our players averaging in the 20’s. It is clear it will take more than just the Windies bowling legend to get our ladies back to their winning ways.

 

  1. The LA Lakers- a cut above the rest!

Anthony Davis and LeBron James combined one again to give the Los Angeles Lakers a 2-0 series lead over the injury-hit Miami Heat in the NBA Finals. Davis posted a double-double and James top-scored in Friday's 124-114 victory against the Heat at the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida. What is clear is the Lakers have buckled down and they are not taking anything for granted until they finish the job at hand.

There are several factors that have contributed to the Lakers success, LeBron James’ inability to slow down combined with Coach Frank Vogel’s wit. The synergy between LeBron and Anthony Davis is impeccable. The experience that this team has is also notable. They have veterans other than James who have also contributed significantly like Rajon Rondo, Danny Green and even JaVale McGee.

 

Cricket West Indies (CWI) today named Courtney Walsh as the new Head Coach of the West Indies Women’s team. The West Indies cricket legend will lead the preparation and development of the Women’s Team at least up until the end of 2022, including competing in the next International Cricket Council (ICC) Women’s Cricket World Cup (50 overs) and ICC Women’s T20 World Cup.

The former world-renowned fast bowler has served as an assistant coach with the Bangladesh Men’s team, and subsequently worked on a short-term contract with the West Indies Women’s team, including at the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup 2020 held in Australia earlier this year.

Walsh is the leading wicket-taker in West Indies Test history with 519 wickets in 132 Test matches. A former Jamaica and West Indies captain, he took 227 wickets in One-Day Internationals, and also took 1807 wickets in 429 first-class matches. The 57-year-old is a member of the ICC Hall of Fame.

“This is indeed an honour to be named as the new Head Coach. It’s an exciting challenge and I’ve always wanted to give back in any way I can and help with the development of the game in the West Indies. The experience I have, my knowledge of the game, and my overall organizational skills will be key aspects as we try to develop a winning team culture,” said Walsh.

“I worked with the team at the Women’s T20 World Cup earlier this year in Australia and in the series against India in the Caribbean last year, so I have a very good understanding of what is required. The ability and the talent are there, we have some fantastic players in the West Indies, and it will be my duty and focus to help the women to develop their talents and achieve the goals we are going to be setting together.”

 Jimmy Adams, CWI’s Director of Cricket said Walsh will be integral to moving the women’s programme forward.

“I am delighted to have Courtney leading our international women's programme having successfully come through CWI’s recruitment process.  He will be overseeing the programme initially until the end of the next two ICC Women's World Cups in 2022 and he will be pivotal in working with CWI’s High Performance Team to move our whole women’s programme forward, as part of our wider strategic plan which has Women’s cricket as a key priority,” Adams said.

Since retiring from the game, Walsh has held several posts within CWI cricket set-up. He was a member of West Indies’ senior selection panel from 2013 to 2016 and was part of the panel which selected the squad that won the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup in India. He has also been Team Manager for the West Indies Under-19 and Under-15 teams and has served as a Director of the Jamaica Cricket Association. He has also been a Bowling Mentor for the Jamaica Tallawahs and Bowling Coach for St Kitts & Nevis Patriots in the Caribbean Premier League (CPL).

Former Sri Lankan cricketer turned commentator Russell Arnold believes West Indies Women have been left behind, in terms of their physical fitness and capability, with teams like Australia, India and England putting greater emphasis in those areas.

The ongoing T20 series in England has been largely a one-sided affair, with the hosts cruising out to a 4-0 lead.  In addition, England has secured margins of 40 runs and above in three of the four matches played so far.  Even if the regional team could use rust as a factor, there was also the series against Australia last year, where the team lost 3-0 in an ODI series, before also losing 3-0 in a T20 international series.

In 2016, the West Indies Women defeated Australia to claim the World T20 title and previously scored victories over England.

Russell believes a major part of the gulf in recent results has to do with how the big three teams are preparing physically.

“The other teams are going way ahead. I know a lot of focus is being put on the Australian team, on making them better athletes.  They are a lot faster, a lot stronger, they can really hit a ball, they are more agile.  That's where they are getting ahead,” Arnold told the Mason and Guest Radio program.

“Teams like the West Indies are still relying on the flair.  So now and again, when something comes off you will win a game but to get the consistency to improve, these are the things you need to focus on,” he added.

“A few years ago you would say New Zealand is up there with England and Australia, but the New Zealand Women have fallen off because the other teams are totally focused on improving not only their skills but also their athleticism, which allows for better performances.  It’s a case of the lesser teams not being able to focus on those areas or not focusing.”

 

The West Indies Women lost the fourth Vitality T20 International by 44 runs as part of the Sandals West Indies Women’s Tour of England 2020.

For the third time in four tosses, England won and elected to bat first against the West Indies. Shamilia Connell set up the opening over of the first match, with Aaliyah Alleyne making the breakthrough in the second over when she had Danni Wyatt caught behind for a duck.

Connell bowled the third over, once again setting up the tense situation for Alleyne to capitalize. Alleyne did not waste it as she once again teamed up with wicketkeeper Shemaine Cambelle to have England’s top scorer from the last match Nat Sciver caught behind for 6.

Karishma Ramharack playing in her first match of the series had opener Tammy Beaumont trapped LBW, while attempting a reverse sweep. For the first time in the series, England had less than 70 runs on the board after ten overs.

However, a bit of sloppy fielding and bad line and length allowed England to claw their way back to a demanding total. Amy Jones top-scored for the hosts with 55 after being dropped on 2 by Lee Ann Kirby, followed by her captain Heather Knight with 42 as England finished their innings on 166 for 6. Aaliyah Alleyne was the best West Indies bowler, taking 2 for 25 from her four overs.

For the first time in this series, Deandra Dottin was dismissed for single digits in the first over of the match, when she was bowled by Katherine Brunt for 4. Shemaine Campbelle joined Lee Ann Kirby and the pair started a cautious rebuild of the innings despite a required run-rate of 8.36 per over.

Kirby was bowled by Sciver for 4 with the score on 26 in the third over. Aaliyah Alleyne and Chedean Nation held a sixth-wicket record partnership of 38 runs for the West Indies against England Women, surpassing the previous record of 30 between Shanel Daly and Britney Cooper, which stood since 2010.

However, this partnership was not enough to sustain the innings. It was soon over when the West Indies finished their innings on 122 for 9. Nation was the highest runs-scorer with 30, followed by Alleyne with 15. Bowling for England, Sarah Glenn finished with 2 for 15 from three overs, while Katherine Brunt had 2 for 21 from her allotted four overs.

England scored 166 for 6 from their 20 overs and the West Indies Women made 122 for 9 from their 20 overs.

West Indies Women’s interim coach Andre Coley admits the team lost a bit of momentum after losing intensity during its unsuccessful runs chase against England on Wednesday.

In pursuit of England’s target of 151, the West Indies were at 71 for 1 at around the halfway point of the runs chase.  The team was anchored by a 61 run top-order partnership between captain Stafanie Taylor and Deandra Dottin.

Once Dottin was dismissed lbw, however, Taylor followed two overs later and a rapid collapse saw the team eventually all out for 104.  In the last 6.1 overs, the team nosedived from 72 for 1, to 96 for 8. 

“For this format of the game, the intensity is very important. We had that early on with that significant partnership between Deandra and Stephanie of 60-odd that really kept that momentum going,” Colley explained following the match.

“During that middle period, however, we actually dipped in terms of our intent and moved away from that intensity around scoring boundaries and that obviously led to us losing some momentum toward the end.  We needed to keep going to stay on pace with the required rate,” he added.

Even before that, however, the team must certainly be regretting not doing a bit better with the ball.  Having reduced England to 96 for 6, they let it slip in the last bowling five overs, and a 150-target was always going to be a tough task.

"In this game, we were able to pull things back in the middle.  Our spinners did well to pull back in the middle.  The last five overs was really what cost us, they scored 50 runs in the last five and that pushed them past a score we were looking at.”

 

Stafanie Taylor scored her 3000th run on Wednesday but West Indies Women lost to England by 47 runs at Derby on Wednesday in the second of their five-match T20 Vitality Series.

They also lost the first match on Monday by a similar margin. However, this time the loss unfolded differently.

Chasing 152 for victory, the West Indies Women, with the score at 11, lost Hayley Matthews for three in the third over, caught off a leading edge by Heather Knight from a Katherine Brunt delivery.

However, the West Indies had a glimmer of hope when Deandra Dottin and Stafanie Taylor put together a partnership of 61 in nine overs to have the West Indies well-positioned at 71 for one in the 12th over.

That was also when things began to unravel for the West Indies as their next seven wickets to 32 runs to close at 104 for eight.

It began with the last ball of the 12th over when Dottin adjudged leg before wicket for 38 to Sarah Glenn’s quicker and fuller leg-break.

Six balls later, wicketkeeper Amy Jones, stumped Lee-Ann Kirby for one from a Mady Villiers delivery. 75 for three.

Six balls later, Jones was again in action, stumping Captain Stafanie Taylor - who had earlier scored her 3000th run - for 28 from a Glen delivery wide of the off-stump. 79 for four.

Shermaine Campbelle was the next wicket to fall, for five, after swinging Anya Shrubsole’s delivery to deep square leg where Fran Wilson held onto a running catch. It was then 89 for five.

Six balls later, Chinelle Henry was out lbw to Villiers for seven. 89 for six.

By the time Sophie Ecclestone bowled Britney Cooper for a duck to leave the West Indies were 91 for seven, the Caribbean side had lost six wickets for 19 runs from 33 balls and still needing 61 from the last 16 balls.

Shortly thereafter, Aaliyah Alleyne was trapped lbw by Ecclestone for five at 96 for eight.

It was left to Selman, who remained unbeaten on 6 and Afy Fletcher 4, to get the West Indies past the 100-run mark as the innings came to a close.

Villiers was the pick of the England bowlers taking 2 for 10 from three overs. Ecclestone (2 for 19) and Glenn (2 for 24) did their part to dismantling the West Indies batting line-up.

Earlier, England had smashed 52 runs off their last five overs to wrest control of the match from the West Indies, who had up to then, kept England’s batters reined in.

Having had England at 96 for six in the 15th over, Sarah Glen and Katherine Brunt attacked the bowling with great success. Together the pair added 46 runs before Selman bowled Brunt for 18 in the final over.

England had already taken full advantage of Shamilia Connell, whose last over, the 19th, went for 19 runs. Glenn slapped her for four over deep backward point and then followed up with a shot over the covers for three.

Brunt followed suit the next ball that yielded two runs. She then smashed the flustered Connell out to the deep extra cover boundary for four.

By the time Glen was run out for 26 off the last ball of the innings, the damage had already been done with England once again getting beyond 150 runs that once again proved to be more than enough.

It was a welcome fightback from England, who after 15 overs didn’t look likely to score 150.

As they did in the first match on Monday, England had a good start scoring 34 from the first four overs before Selman had Tammy Beaumont caught by Chinelle Henry for 21.

At 44 for one Danni Wyatt was run out for 14.

By then Stafanie Taylor (2 for 12) and Selman (2 for 32) had begun to squeeze the life out of the England batting.

However, Jones who scored 25 from just 20 balls sparked England’s revival that ultimately proved to be too much for the West Indies.

 

 

 

 

 West Indies Women bowler Shakera Selman has dismissed notions suggesting she is in the twilight of her career, insisting that she has instead only gotten better with age.

 The 31-year-old new ball bowler put in an impressive shift in the first T20 International against England on Monday.  The experienced seamster secured figures of 3-26 from her four overs– the second-best figures of her career – following 3-24 against New Zealand, at Invercargill, in 2014.

With a career spanning 12 years, Selman pointed to an improvement in her patience and working extra hard on mental skills as factors that have led to a recent resurgence.

“I think I’m actually peaking now at this later stage.  Funny enough, I think I have always bowled well but I never had the wickets that would quite justify that or really suggest that," Selman said in a recent interview with Windies Cricket.

"But, I’m very happy with the returns (At this stage). I think the hard work is finally paying off and I’m happy with where I am."

Additionally, she noted that increasing her discipline in exercise regimes, and maintaining appropriate nutrition have played a very important part in her continued success.  She also paid tribute to the coaches she has worked with over the years.

West Indies women all-rounder Deandra Dottin expressed some amount of disappointment at not being able to carry the team over the line, in a loss against England, but insists it was good to be playing cricket again.

Dottin showed very little sign of rust in crafting an industrious 69 from 59 deliveries, in dogged pursuit of England’s total of 163.  She was, however, the team’s only batsman to reach double figures as the Windies eventually crashed 47 runs short of the total.  

"It's been a long time since we've played international cricket but we've been here for two and a half weeks and we've been preparing and I think we ticked our boxes, it was just a matter of execution and we didn't do that today with the bat or the ball but I think the girls were really happy to get out there and play some international and competitive cricket,” Dottin said after the game.

The allrounder has spent more time out of the game than most, having suffered a serious injury to her right shoulder in early 2019 and underwent reconstructive surgery in June of last year.  Having only recently returned to action earlier this year, the sport was halted by the pandemic.  The player, however, now seems to be on the verge of rediscovering her best form.

"The game plan was for me to bat through the innings and set up the game.  If it came down to the latter part, we could actually get a couple of big overs.  Unfortunately, England bowled very well, they used their variations very well, so we did not get the score we projected,” she added.

 Natalie Sciver and Sophie Eccleston each claimed two wickets as an economic England were found to be in a miserly mood.

West Indies Women’s captain, Stafanie Taylor believes a failure to adapt to the playing surface resulted in their downfall against England at Derby on Monday.

Taylor’s side managed 116 for 6 in their 20 overs chasing an England total of 163 for 8 set by the hosts who took first strike. England’s match-winning total was due largely to the innings of Player of the Match Tammy Beaumont who scored 62 from 49 balls aided by some wayward bowling from the Caribbean women.

Deandra Dottin led the scoring for the West Indies with a 59-ball 69 but no other made double figures as the West Indies struggled to keep pace with the required rate of just over eight runs an over.

Taylor was not happy with the performances.

“It's not one of our best [performances]. We didn't adapt well to the pitch,” she said.

 Tammy batted really well and set the game up nicely for them. Looking back at that, we thought we were always behind and had to gain some momentum going into the batting.”

Taylor conceded that the bowlers and the batters let the team down.

“Some bowlers bowled well in patches but... not the best, really. Deandra batted well, but she needed someone to stay there with her,” said the despondent Windies captain.

“We thought too many dot balls strangled us a bit. We needed to go back to the footage and assess it and see areas we can improve on. We have a training day tomorrow just to fine-tune for Wednesday's game.”

The next match in the five-match series bowls off on Wednesday.

The West Indies lost to England by 47 runs at Derby on Monday despite a valiant half-century from Deandra Dottin, her highest score ever against England.

After a disastrous World Cup earlier this year when none of their batters lived up to expectation, West Indies women's interim head coach Andre Coley has called upon them to step up during their five-match T20 series that begins on Monday.

"White-ball cricket, and T20 cricket specifically, is about scoring runs," Coley said. "If you watch the history of our cricket, our bowling department has always held its own, done well and been competitive.

"[But] we'll need to post challenging totals and be able to chase them as well. We need to be clear in our roles for each player, and how we want to go about the batting, and we should be okay."

Coley said he was happy with the fact that during the two intra-squad warm-up matches they played in the past few days, the batters did fairly will Captain Stafanie Taylor and Lee-Ann Kirby being the standouts with scores of 71 and 85, respectively.

"It's very good that in all innings that were played, we batted the full complement of overs," Coley said. "And there were individual performances as well as partnerships throughout. It was good for everyone to have had some time out in the middle in a competitive environment, which we haven't had for a while.

 West Indies Women’s team captain Stafanie Taylor has revealed that the team is buoyed by its comfort level, having been given time to settle in England ahead of the upcoming series.

The particular nature of the series, played in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, allowed the Caribbean team to arrive in England at the end of last month.  The players have been since locked away in a biosecure environment where they have had the time to get used to conditions.

“The good thing is that we have been here for a while now.  It feels like home.  Normally when we go on a tour it feels like we are the away team.  This time it feels like we are the home team.

“The girls are in good spirits.  We’ve had a few weeks to get out there and get used to the conditions,” she added.

 All matches will be played behind closed doors at Derby, where West Indies have been based for three weeks.  The England Women has dominated the West Indies in recent meetings and have racked up comfortable victories in multiple formats.   Monday's series opener will be the first women's international since 86,174 people watched Australia defeat India in the T20 World Cup final in March.

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