‘Come to the party’: Walsh says territorial boards must play a role in developing women’s cricket

Courtney Walsh
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By Neto Baptiste

Coach of the West Indies senior women’s team and former fast bowler, Courtney Walsh, has renewed calls for territorial boards to play a bigger role in the development of women’s cricket across the region.

His plea follows the recent ICC T20 Women’s World Cup held in South Africa where the regional team failed to advance from Group B after finishing third in the five-team round-robin contest with four points after two wins and two losses.

Walsh said the quality of women’s cricket will continue to dwindle if there is no investment in the game at the grassroots level.

“I went to the Under-19 tournament and was very impressed with that and I think we just have to make the bold step of looking in that department to try and make sure we focus on as much of those players as much as possible. My one plea I would make to the rest of the region is that I think the territorial boards have to come to the party to try and get women’s cricket playing in the territories more often,” he said.

“I just came back from Montserrat and they had a game there for Women’s International Day and I am sorry I didn’t know the game was being played with some female players. I got in after the game so I didn’t get to see them play but I think these are things that we need to encourage some more in terms of trying to widen the pool because at the moment our pool is pretty limited,” Walsh added. 

West Indies failed to get to the semi-final round of the competition despite a dramatic last ball victory against Pakistan on February 19 in Paarl, South Africa.  

Walsh commended the players for their efforts, added they were not beaten by any team ranked below them.

The Jamaican however said the absence of all-rounder Diandra Dottin who retired late last year was a huge blow for the team.

“I am not afraid to say that I had asked her to play up until the World Cup for more reasons than one and I am not being selfish but you don’t want to lose a player of that caliber. Someone who could bat, bowl and field like Diandra, you want to have her in your World Cup so that was a personal plea from me. I think that if she had played in the World Cup it probably would have helped her stock to go up as well, too, and create more demand on the world scene so to lose here before the World Cup was a major blow,” Walsh said.

“I am not sure what she is going through, I’ve reached out before hand and I was told the CWI and the local [officials] would speak with her. I think a lot of people have tried but I have not spoken with her. I saw her in Barbados but I have not spoken to her since we came back from the World Cup,” he added. 

The team’s seven-wicket loss to England in Boland Park, South Africa on February 15 was their 14th straight in international matches.

Asked if he fears his job is on the line, Walsh said that decision is for his employers to make.

“Well, it’s up to the people who have employed me to look at what I have done and assess and see if there are any positives and negatives or where we go from there. We’d lost two series leading up to the World Cup and because those were the most recent series they are going to be the ones remembered and no one would probably remember what or how well we did before that. We had a number of injuries going in and whether it was my fault or not the results are what people are going to look at. We didn’t do well against England unfortunately and that was one of the biggest injury tour we had and if that is where it going to be judged then that’s not my call on that,” he said. 

Walsh was appointed coach of the West Indies senior women’s team in October 2020, taking over the role from Gus Logie, following a recruitment process that was announced in May that same year.   

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