Drakes relishes World Cup preparation period for West Indies squad

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BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (CMC) – West Indies Women’s head coach Vasbert Drakes said he was looking forward to the next month of preparation, as he gets his side in gear for the ICC Women’s World Cup, starting next month in the United Kingdom.
Team-bonding activities, personal development sessions and physical assessments will be on the schedule during a five-day camp when the 15-member squad assembles on Friday here.
Following the team’s departure next Wednesday, they will have a 17-day training camp in the southern English city of Southampton before moving to the city of Leicester for the formal start of the Women’s World Cup programme.
“We are eager to get the group together,” said Drakes in a WICB media release. “It’s an exciting line-up of players with a balance of established players, a couple of returnees and a group of four new faces.
“This camp will enable the team management unit to spend valuable time with the players and start to build the desire for success in the team, as they get ready to face the challenges of the World Cup.”
Drakes added: “It will be a good opportunity for us to re-create the strong team culture that was a hallmark of our side over the last two years as we worked very hard to qualify for the Women’s World Cup.
“We want to help the new players integrate, while rekindling the camaraderie and relationships with the familiar faces, so that there is a healthy team environment in which everyone can focus on performance and ultimately being successful at the World Cup.”
The preparation period in England will include practice matches against an England Women’s XI on June 6 at Loughborough and the Southern Vipers on June 9 at the Ageas Bowl before they play official World Cup warm-up matches against Pakistan on June 20 at Leicester and South Africa on June 22 at Oakham.
“We will have almost a month in the UK prior to our opening game in the World Cup to get the team into game mode,” said Drakes.
“We will spend that time trying to get acclimatised to the conditions and being purposeful in our build-up to the tournament, so that we can significantly improve on our past performances and prepare to take on the World.”
The Windies Women were runners-up at the previous Women’s World Cup in India, when Australia Women claimed their sixth title with a 114-run victory at the Brabourne Stadium in Mumbai.
Stafanie Taylor’s side earned automatic qualification to the Women’s World Cup following their fourth place finish in the ICC Women’s Championship – a tournament contested between the top eight sides in the World over the last two years.

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