Friday, March 1, 2024

Quiet return for triumphant Windies women


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The TRIUMPHANT West Indies women’s team returned to less than a hero’s welcome yesterday, following their inspirational performances at the ICC Women’s Cricket Challenge in South Africa.
There were no waving flags, cheering friends or fans and no representatives from the Barbados Cricket Association (BCA) to meet the team.
Dr Roland Toppin, CEO of the BCA, had turned up at the airport on other business and he was able to greet some of the stragglers from the team, who would have been long gone had it not been for the women having to spend over two hours in the arrivals hall trying to find missing luggage.
With the squad having only two Barbadians, Shakera Selman and Deandra Dottin, one would not have expected a large family turnout at the airport with most of the returning players rushing to make connecting flight to their homelands.
At least Selman’s mum Glendine Selman’s smile and embrace of her daughter was warm enough to erase the stress of the eight-hour flight from Gatwick, England, and the missing luggage of the entire team.
The women had boldly gone where our men have not gone in over five years to win a major title. They captured the ICC Twenty20 Challenge Trophy by crushing Sri Lanka in the finals and were runners-up to hosts South Africa in the 50 overs segment.  
The Windies also won all of the individual hardware on offer, with Stacie-Ann King taking the Player Of The Series for the T20s, while Stafanie Taylor won that award in the 50-overs, as well as taking the overall Player Of The Series.
Obviously overjoyed coach Sherwin Campbell said he was very pleased with the performance of the players, all of whom had improved as the tournament progressed.  
While admitting that the shorter version of the game seemed to be his players’ forte, Campbell pointed out that they would continue working so that the girls would excel in all areas and versions of cricket.
“I believe that our batting improved greatly. We had some good scores from Stacie-Ann, and Deandra was consistent . . . judging from the crowds who attended the games in South Africa and looking at how we performed, it is obvious that women’s cricket is on the rise,” said Campbell, a former West Indies opener.
“It is important that our women get the chance to play more cricket, and that more competitions are available, so that they can continue to improve for the World Cup which is three years away,” Campbell added.  
The Windies are scheduled to take part in a tournament in India in February which Campbell expects to be challenging, considering the conditions in the subcontinent.
All-rounder Dottin was one of the unlucky players delayed because of luggage problems, but when she emerged she seemed more concerned about her performance in South Africa.  
The hard-hitting all-rounder had ended the tournament with a match-winning 39 for the Windies in the finals, but she felt that she had played below her expectations.
“I plan to do a lot more gym work as well as concentrate on raising my fitness level,” Dottin said.  “I play as an all-rounder in the team, batting at number six, and I want to be able to deliver whenever I am called on to bat or bowl for my team,” Dottin added.

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