Women qualifiers a major career stepping stone: Williams

Regional female umpire Jacqueline Williams.

Regional female umpire Jacqueline Williams has described the appointment to stand in next month’s ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup qualifiers, as a major stepping stone in her career.

The 40 year old has already stood in the ICC World T20 women’s qualifiers, the ICC Division 5 tournament along with the Regional first class championship and Regional Super50, and sees the latest appointment as a critical development in her career.

“I’m delighted to be named among the umpires for this tournament. It’s a major tournament in women’s cricket with some of the best players in the world,” said Williams, the lone female on the senior regional umpires’ panel.

“All the appointments I have been on are stepping stones and I have welcomed all with open arms. I always find something to work on and improve. There is a lot to learn as an umpire.”

She added: “Going to Sri Lanka, I have been doing my homework, looking at the conditions, the weather and other aspects of the game so I know what to expect before I reach there. It’s somewhere different but I’m happy to be involved and hoping to give my very best.”

Williams is one of two regional umpires set for the tournament with 27-year-old Leslie Reifer Jr also named to stand in the February 7-21 qualifiers.

He became one of the youngest ever international umpires last year when he debuted in the Twenty20 Series in Florida, United States between West Indies and India.

“This is my first tournament with the ICC so I am really looking forward to it – the experience of standing in an international tournament, as well the culture and atmosphere of Sri Lanka,” the Barbadian said.

“For me this is a major step in my career. I value every opportunity I get to stand at any level of the game. Women’s cricket is growing rapidly in the West Indies and all around the world, and the standard of play is very high. I am hoping to learn more about the game to contribute in a meaningful way.”

Women’s Cricket World Cup qualifiers is a 10-team tournament to decide the last four teams for the Women’s World Cup, from June 26 to July 23 in England.

West Indies Women, along with Australia, England, New Zealand, have already qualified for the showpiece.

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