By Neto Baptiste
Newly appointed head coach of the West Indies women’s cricket team, Courtney Walsh, believes that structured age group competitions coupled with a competitive senior regional tournament could assist in the resurgence of the game in the Caribbean and help to propel the senior women’s team back to its former glory.
Speaking on the Good Morning Jojo Sports Show, Walsh, who is the most successful West Indies fast bowler with 519 wickets in 132 Tests, said talks have already commenced with those in key positions to get the ball rolling.
“It’s an ongoing discussion and I think Cricket West Indies is going to be trying to put things in place so that we could get things going in the territories for either under-15, under-17 or under-19 in one of the groups or even all three and try to get the region to get more involved. If we can even get a little bit in some schools, then it would be helpful,” he said
“We need to get our regional competition going as well where we can try to expose some of those young talents and, as I said, the regional part of it as well is critical because you want all the teams to have a strong team in the Leeward Islands, Windward Islands, Jamaica and all six territories. It would be an ideal asset to have if we could get some club cricket being played; I think that would help us tremendously,” he added.
West Indies went winless in a best of five T20 series in England last month, raising questions over the ability of the current crop of players to compete at the international level.
Walsh, admitting there may be a need for fresh blood, said he will be reaching out to key and influential persons in each territory in an effort to identify those talents in need of nurturing.
“I need to get a point-person in every territory that can show me about the best they have, or tell me about the best they have, so that we could look at them. I don’t just want to hear, but I want to see what they have to offer and to see how well we could help them to develop. We might not get someone who is going to come out and literally in two or three months’ time they are ready, but let’s say that in six months’ time to a year, they are ready, then that’s work in progress,” the iconic former player said.
Walsh, who also claimed 227 scalps in 205 One Day International (ODI) matches, takes the reins from former coach Gus Logie, who was appointed as the interim head coach in 2019.