TWENTY-YEAR-OLD STAR IN CHARGE OF BARBADOS ‘ WOMEN CRICKETERS
Following her elevation to national senior skipper, Hayley Matthews has expressed confidence that her talented 14-member squad that includes world number one all-rounder Deandra Dottin can repeat as regional Super50 champions.
Barbados will compete for the 2019 Cricket West Indies Women’s 50-over title and the T20 Blaze Trophy when both formats are contested from March 14th to April 4th in Guyana.
And Matthews during the first training camp held at Kensington Oval this morning said that she was optimistic the team which comprises seven West Indies players could achieve the double.
“We have an excellent chance. We have several West Indian players on our team and a solid batting and bowling line-up. So, to go out there in Guyana and defend our title, I know it will be challenging, but once we play the cricket that we know we can, I think we can do the double.
“Even though I am young I’ve been around for a couple of years playing for West Indies. Being under captains like Merissa Aguilleira, Stafanie Taylor as well as Shakera Selman here in Barbados, I have learnt a lot from them. Obviously, when I am out on the field I would lean on my seniors for assistance, but I think I am quite capable of doing it and hopefully we could go down there and reap the rewards,” Matthews told Barbados TODAY.
The 20-year-old Matthews who despite her age has been around the game for a long time both regionally and internationally has replaced fellow Barbadian and senior West Indies teammate Shakera Selman as captain. Ever since CWI appointed Matthews as vice-captain last year, Selman made the decision to step aside and allow the talented right-handed opener the responsibility of leading the Barbados team.
Noticeably absent from the opening day of training camp was big-hitting all-rounder Dottin who is said to be under the doctor’s care. However, head coach of the Barbados team Ezra Moseley expressed the hope that she would be able to join the national squad.
Once given the all clear, Dottin will join fellow West Indies players, Selman, Matthews, twin sisters Kycia and Kyshona Knight and Shamilia Connell.
Barbados narrowly missed the opportunity of completing the double last year in Trinidad and Tobago when they won the Super50 and drew with Jamaica for the T20 trophy. But Moseley believes that despite the unpredictable weather conditions in Guyana, the team was strong enough to get the job done.
“With all the West Indian players in, we have a good chance of doing well in the tournament. Cricket is played on the day, we’ve had those seven people in the team before and did not win, but these players are now professionals and experienced. So, hopefully when we get to Guyana there would play at their best, we know the conditions in Guyana can be a bit tricky, but we have played there before. The ladies have just come off a tournament in Guyana where there were in the preliminary round of the World Cup, so they are used to the conditions. It is just a matter for the other players who have not really played a lot of cricket in Guyana getting used to the conditions,” Moseley explained.
No stranger to coaching the Barbados team, Moseley expressed faith in Matthews leading the side and said: “Shakera indicated that 2018 was her last year captaining the team because she felt that if Hayley was the vice-captain of the West Indies team, it is only fair that she steps up and take the reins. So, Hayley was happy to step up, and Shakera said she would help when needed. I think it is a step in the right direction for Hayley to take over the reins if or whenever Stafanie Taylor should step down.”
Full squad: Hayley Matthews, Shakera Selman, Aaliyah Alleyne, Shanika Bruce, Shai Carrington, Shaunte Carrington, Shamilia Connell, Deandra Dottin, Rashida Goring, Kycia Knight, Kyshona Knight, Sherika Lopez, Danielle Small and Charlene Taitt Management team: Manager Evril Lewis, head coach Ezra Moseley, assistant coach Pedro Collins and physiotherapist Marita Marshall.