Cricket West Indies has begun for a permanent head coach for the West Indies Women. That person will replace interim head coach Gus Logie who has been in charge of the women’s team since October 2019.

The image of a former West Indies Women’s team representative left to hobble around in pain for years because of an injury sustained while on national team duty is certainly enough to bring tears to your eyes.

My thoughts, of course, turn to former Barbados women’s team captain and Windies women all-rounder Shaquana Quintyne, who sustained a devastating knee injury during the regional team’s preparation for the 2017 Women’s World Cup.

Three years and four surgeries later the player is not only unable to return to the sport but is, if reports are to be believed, at times unable to walk due to excruciating pain.

First let me say, based on the evidence that has been made available so far, we must dismiss the notion that Cricket West Indies (CWI) has done nothing to help the young player.

No one disputes the fact that the regional cricket body paid for consultation and three separate knee surgeries sometime between 2017 and 2018, plus the requisite rehabilitation. 

With cruciate ligament surgeries ranging from anywhere between an estimated US$5,000 and US$15,000, the organisation has clearly spent a pretty penny.

If we are to believe CWI CEO Johnny Grave, and there is no reason we shouldn’t, then the organisation also deserves commendation for adding Quintyne to the Total and Permanent Disablement policy even though it came into existence after she was injured.

Despite all that, however, the fact remains that Quintyne is still not back on her feet. I don’t know what the overall prognosis was, and cruciate ligament injuries are known to be a serious issue, but with athletes known to require multiple surgeries and several specialists before things are made right, I’m not quite sure that all has been done to safeguard the future of Quintyne. 

In any case, she is 24 years old and was injured in the line of duty so to speak. If she is unable to continue her cricketing career, she should at the very least be able to lead a pain-free, or pain-minimized existence as she looks to take what must certainly be new, uncertain steps in her life.

The CWI might not have a contractual obligation to do so, but certainly, a moral one and continued assistance for the player would go a long way in sending the right message to current and future generations.

I listened to Grave speak eloquently and passionately about the organisation’s desire to repair relationships and care for players. It is indeed a very positive mindset to have.

It is a well-known fact that for years, in one way or the other, the major bone of contention between the regional cricket board and regional players has had to do with the fact that players, rightly or wrongly, believe they are often short-changed and abused by the board. They are of the opinion that a profit-making board does not care about their well-being. 

What better example than Quintyne’s case to show that any such narratives are things of the past and send a clear message to a new generation of players looking to give their all to regional cricket, ‘we will always take care of our own.’

The dim view taken of the board in such matters involving players is not just held by the players themselves, but many fans of the regional game as well, who are once again watching with keen eyes. There are some cases that your reputation and the ability to enhance it will always be worth more than a few dollars.

In some cases, football clubs, for instance, have been known to make significant investments in the health of the player without reaping a tangible reward. 

At 31-years-old, former Arsenal midfielder, Santi Carzola had to undergo as much as 10 surgeries on a troublesome ankle injury, which eventually nearly cost him his leg, and saw him spend three-years out of the game.

In 2017, despite the player having not appeared for the club for some time, Arsenal extended him a one-year contract in order to allow him the opportunity to fully recover. He never appeared for the club again, but sometimes it makes sense to be about more than just dollars.

The CWI clearly does not have Arsenal’s resources but shouldn’t be willing to give up on Quintyne, her health or future just yet.

Nat Sciver believes West Indies’ indifferent ICC Women’s T20 World Cup campaign makes them a dangerous prospect for England to face in Sydney.

Sciver’s side know a win at the Showground would almost certainly put them into the semi-finals, marking a significant comeback since their opening defeat to South Africa in Perth.

But the all-rounder feels a tough test is in store when they face the 2016 champions, despite Stafanie Taylor’s side failing to hit their straps Down Under - edging out Thailand before losing to Pakistan.

England themselves have been far from perfect, particularly with openers Amy Jones and Danni Wyatt struggling for form, prompting Sciver to rein in expectations of a comfortable victory.

“I think the pressure of these two games has brought the best out in us,” she said. “We’ve had two pretty clinical performances and put things right that we didn’t do well against South Africa.

“You don’t know what you’ll get from West Indies on the day. The two games they’ve had probably makes them more dangerous. We’ll have to be on our game.

“It’s a tight turnaround, I’m not sure how much training we’ll be doing. We’ll have a review meeting so we know what we need to know about their batters and bowlers ahead of the game.

“It’s hard when batters have a run when they don’t get as many runs as they want to, really. It’s hard to keep putting yourself out there and keep going for the shots that are your strengths.

“I thought Danni did that well against Pakistan and tried to get a few away. She got some luck, which is helpful when you’re feeling a bit out of form.

“I’m hoping that between now and Sunday she can rethink or just take her mind off it.”

For West Indies, meanwhile, there’s no room for anything less than clinical cricket.

Women’s T20 World Cup champions just four years ago, expectation follows Taylor’s charges at every turn but they have flattered to deceive with two far-from-perfect performances to date.

Victories over both England and South Africa are likely required if they are to reach the last four, but belief is still evident for a team that knows they have plenty more to offer.

“It’s about putting partnerships together, believing in themselves and being able to handle the situation as it comes,” said coach Gus Logie.

“Hayley Matthews, Deandra Dottin – these are the people you expect to do well. The captain has been getting scores, but we just haven’t got big scores to put pressure on the opposition.

“It’s do-or-die. The players know that if you win you can go through, but lose and you go home. The onus is upon everyone to dig deeper and produce the performances which they know they can.

“They have done well against England and South Africa in past World Cups, they know they can beat them.

“There’s nothing in the stars that say we can’t make the semi-finals so we have to believe we can.

“The approach will have to be positive and that’s what we’re looking at.”

West Indies all-rounder Chinelle Henry says she is disappointed with the performance of her team that led to a crushing eight-wicket victory at the hands of Pakistan in Canberra on Wednesday.

The loss left the Windies women third in the Group B table with two matches to go and just two to qualify for the semi-final of the biennial competition.

According to Henry, it was a desperate day for Windies from the very first ball, when opener Hayley Matthews was dismissed lbw by Diana Baig, and her side didn’t show up in the field.

“Everything went wrong from the first ball of the game,” said Henry.

“As a unit, we stuck together and got to a pretty decent total. As a bowling unit, we just didn’t execute as we would want to.

“Everyone was disappointed with our fielding performance. We can do much better - we just didn’t turn up. We have to work out why that happened.

“We have two games to go and we know as individuals they are must-win games. We’re going to go back to the drawing board.”  

Pakistan skipper Bismah Maroof, in the meantime, is leaning on the defeat her side handed the West Indies for the belief the unit can topple the giants of the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup.

Pakistan have never made it out of the preliminary stages of the tournament but began their Group B campaign with a comprehensive eight-wicket victory on the back of Bismah's unbeaten 38.

The skipper praised her bowlers and feels the result will infuse her side with hope they can progress for the first time.

“We needed this win to move ahead and it has given us some momentum and belief,” said the Pakistan captain.

“We’ve struggled at times in run chases but we kept our focus, kept calm and stayed in the middle. We knew if we got a partnership, we had to go on and our openers played very well.

“We want to play aggressive cricket and get the bad balls to the boundary and the openers showed good intent.”

“The belief is there, but we will take it game by game. We’ll have to play at 120 per cent to beat teams like England.

“The way this tournament has gone, it’s quite wide open and any team can beat the other. We’re looking forward to the next game and we’ll be putting in maximum effort.”

Pakistan were startlingly untroubled in their run-chase, with Javeria Khan judicious in the Powerplay and helping guide youngster Muneeba Ali to their country’s best Women’s T20 World Cup opening partnership.

Bismah, while slow to get started, swept adroitly and alongside Nida Dar, turned the screw on a poor West Indies performance with the ball and in the field.

The two teams played out a tight T20I series in February 2019 with West Indies’ 2-1 win clinched by a Super Over, but the difference between the sides was cavernous in the Australian capital.

 

Windies Women’s team captain Stafanie Taylor has been ruled out of the remaining series against India after sustaining an injury.

According to official reports, the all-rounder will be sidelined for two weeks after sustaining a "Grade 1 Medial Collateral Ligament Sprain".  Taylor suffered the knee injury during the last game of the ODI series, which India won 2-1.  The player, who was named the player of the series in the three-match ODIs, did not suit up for the team’s second T20I on Sunday.  Instead, spin bowler Anisa Mohammed took over from Taylor as captain with young Guyanese all-rounder Cherry-Ann Fraser named to the squad to replace the stricken star.

"It is very disappointing to lose Stafanie at this crucial time and she will no doubt be missed but her health and recovery are of utmost importance," said CWI chief selector Ann Browne-John.

"We have the ICC T20 World Cup in a few months and it is critical that Stafanie gets the time to recover and return to full fitness."

India defeated Windies in the second ODI by 10 wicket to go ahead 2-0 and claim lead in the five-match series.  The tourists opened with a thumping 84-run victory in the curtain raiser in St. Lucia.

 

 

Windies Women’s team captain Stafanie Taylor cracked a patient half-century but could not prevent a 6-wicket loss for the regional team as India claimed the three-match One Day International (ODI) series 2-1.

The 28-year-old all-rounder cracked 79 from 112 balls, which played a major role in rescuing the struggling Windies who were at one point hobbling along at 50 for 4.  Taylor first partnered with Kyshona Knight to steady the ship with a 34-run stand, before paring up with Stacy-Ann King to put 96 runs on the board.

The team looked set to climb over 200 but a late flurry of wickets, including that of Taylor’s, stymied those efforts.  With runs hard to come by the Windies total of 194 seemed likely to be a challenging target.  Openers Jemimah Rodrigues and Smriti Mandhana, however, in effect, made the total look like a walk in the park.

 The prodigious pair put on 141 in 25 overs for the first wicket, each bringing up sublime half-centuries. Mandhana was the more aggressive of the two, striking three sixes in her 63-ball 74, a knock which earned her the Player of the Match award. With the stroke which brought her to 50, she crossed the milestone of 2000 ODI runs, reaching the mark in just 51 innings, the third-fastest in women’s cricket. It was some return from injury.

 

 

West Indies fast bowling legend Courtney Walsh has been appointed as interim assistant coach for the Windies Women’s team.

Walsh, the region’s all-time Test wicket-taker, will join Gus Logie who was recently announced as interim head coach.  The duo will be joined by former Guyana seamer Rayon Griffith.  The coaching triumvirate will replace the unit led by Henderson Springer.  

The 57-year-old former speedster recently served as bowling coach for the Bangladesh team.  Although his new appointment is expected to come with more sweeping responsibilities than his previous post, Walsh has revealed that his primary duties will involve working with the bowlers.

"My function is to focus a lot more on the bowlers and the cricket, in general, to get the ladies together," Walsh said.

"I’m just happy to be able to work with Gus - we haven’t had a chance to be on the same team since we were players and we just want the women to play the type of cricket we know they can play."

The team takes charge as the Windies Women prepare to host India Women in a three-match One Day International series.  Logie believes the program is already off to a positive start.

"We’ve had some of the best minds and coaches in the region working with the players," he said.

"Courtney and Rayon have been working really hard with the ladies at training and we are hoping to see the results on the field."

 

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