By Neto Baptiste
Coach of the senior West Indies Women’s cricket team, Courtney Walsh, has hinted that international practice matches could soon become available to the squad as they continue preparations for ICC qualifiers later this year ahead of the 2022 Women’s World Cup.
Walsh, while speaking on the Good Morning Jojo Sports Show, said he will welcome any amount of matches the team could get ahead of the important qualifiers.
“We were hoping to go to India but that didn’t come through so we’re in talks trying to get teams to come here, which sounds very positive, so once we get confirmation then I am sure the CWI will make the announcement. We’re looking at having as much cricket as we can before we go to the qualifiers and based on what we are looking at now, we are hoping to have a tour announcement very shortly. I know we’re in talks with teams to come and then we go to one of those teams on the way going down to the qualifiers,” he said.
West Indies Women are currently in Antigua for their second high-performance camp of the year after Cricket West Indies (CWI) announced early May that 18 women players had been offered retainer contracts for the 2021-2022 season.
Walsh, the most successful West Indies fast bowler with 519 wickets in 132 Tests, is happy with what he has seen thus far.
“I’ve also seen, from a number of the players, a level of commitment starting to come out which as coach, is what you would ask for, but it’s not at this point in time, as consistent as I’d like in terms of improvement so that is something we are working on for this camp, working on that consistency. If we can get that and the game awareness, which is the theme of this camp, if we can get that going then I think we could be in a good place,” he said.
Developing players Kaysia Schultz and Quiana Joseph are among the 18 players currently in Antigua.
The coach said he’s happy with what he’s seen thus far.
“I am very happy we were allowed to bring them in and I am very happy that the parents have allowed them to come in, too, because there is protocol there as well and these girls will only learn from what’s happening here and they will get better. It gives us a chance to see them and to work out personal programmes for them. I am really impressed to see the attitude, the skillset they brought here and as I said at the beginning, we wanted to widen the pool and this give me a chance of seeing quite a few youngsters,” he said.
Antigua and Barbuda’s Shawnisha Hector is amongst the 18 players contracted by CWI.