Walsh: Return To Domestic League And Introduction Of Schools Programme Necessary To Boost Regional Women’s Cricket

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Coach of the West Indies senior women’s cricket team, Courtney Walsh.
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By Neto Baptiste

Coach of the West Indies senior women’s cricket team Courtney Walsh believes the return of the domestic competition this year and a push to introduce the game at the schools level across the Caribbean, are key factors in successfully developing the women’s version of the game from a regional perspective.

“We need to get our regional season up and going and try to get cricket across the schools if we can for the females because we need to get more ladies playing cricket as much as possible in the schools and in the clubs so we can have a wider pool to look at and that’s one of the ways of improving going across so we have to look at the entire structure. Obviously, when we have camps … we can fine tune but we definitely need to have them playing more cricket in the middle so we could see what’s happening. Actually, for the first time I am very excited about the regional tournament coming up in June because that would be the first chance we’ve had of looking at most of our locals,” he said.

Walsh, a legendary former West Indies fast bowler was at the time, speaking on the Good Morning Jojo Sports Show regarding the team’s recent participation in the ICC Women’s World Cup held in New Zealand.

The Jamaican believes the team surpassed expectations after being eliminated in the semifinal round by eventual winners Australia.

“Obviously, when you’re in a competition you want to win it so it would have been nice to get into the final to give yourself a chance to win it but if you look at where we are coming from in having to go to the qualifiers and leaving the qualifiers and making it to the semifinals, I think, was a top achievement by the team and the ladies need to be complimented for the work that was put in,” he said.

“Obviously, we know we had some lapses along the way but the end result, I don’t think anybody would argue with that based on where we’re coming from,” the former player added. 

Walsh said that although all teams would have had Covid-19 related issues regarding their preparation in the marquee tournament, the regional squad was significantly hampered by the number of restrictions that were put in place.

“We haven’t had any regional competitions for at least two seasons so on an account of that we haven’t had the chance to see new talent, to have the girls playing cricket and the ladies do need play as much cricket as possible to improve their game and that was one of the setbacks,” he said.

“When you look at the Australia team and not because they just won the tournament but they have been a team that has been pretty consistent over the years. They have played a fair amount of cricket and they have their own domestic league going on in Australia so they are always going to have players to look to and who would have a pretty good understanding of the game. So I don’t think we are as dominant in terms of being up there as we are used to so I don’t want to say teams have caught up. I think we need to sort of put some things in place to be able to compete with the teams that are ahead of us,” Walsh added.

Eventual champions Australia waltzed into the final of the Women’s World Cup with a 157-run dismantling of West Indies in Wellington on March 30.

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