The ICC Women’s T20 World Cup is all set to begin on February 21 in Australia, with 10 teams divided into two groups and the top two teams from each group advancing to the semifinals. West Indies Women, the 2016 Champions, begin their campaign against first-timers Thailand on 22 February at Perth. Placed in Group B with Pakistan, South Africa, England and Thailand, the Caribbeans are primed to finish in the top two in the group.
Coaching and support staff:
The West Indies women team will have former West Indies cricketer Gus Logie as the head coach for the tournament with legendary fast bowler Courtney Walsh and Rayon Griffith being the assistant coaches. Logie took charge of the team in October 2019 and Walsh and Griffith joined him a month later.
Hosts of the previuos edition, the West Indies finished at the top of the table in the group stages and entered the semifinals unbeaten. They steamrolled England, Sri Lanka, South Africa and Bangladesh in the group stages. However, a rampaging Australian side completely outplayed the hosts, bundling them out for a paltry 71. With the 71-run defeat, West Indies crashed out of the semifinals after an unbeaten run in the group stage.
Lifting the trophy in the 2016 editions happens to be the best finish for them in the history of the tournament. West Indies have been one of the most consistent sides in the as far as T20 World Cups are concerned. In the six editions so far, they have qualified for the semifinals every single time barring the 2009 edition where they finished fifth. Out of five semifinal appearances, West Indies managed to get into the finals just once in 2016 and finished off the tournament in style as they lifted their first T20 title.
The most recent T20I series they played, they lost 0-5 against India. But that was without majority of their key players who were out with injuries including all-rounder Deandra Dottin. Apart from Dottin, bowlers Shakera Selman, Shamilia Connell and Lee-Ann Kirby also make a return to the side, giving West Indies a formidable look. While Connell and Selman are returning after injuries, the experienced Kirby is making a comeback after almost 12 years. Overall, the West Indies have almost all bases covered with a side packed with all-rounders.
The Caribbean team has always been known for the power-hitting and it is no different this time around. The return of Deandra Dotting from injury adds to this strength. Moreover, the presence of as many as five all-rounders gives the side enough depth in both batting and bowling departments.
Despite having a strong side on paper, West Indies’ major cause of concern will be the form of their key players. They certainly need to better their performance against India where they lost 0-5. Injury and lack of ideal alternatives remains another worry for the Caribbean side. With some of the major players coming off long periods of injury, the rustiness will be there, which they have to shred off in order to get good results.
Deandra Dottin, who will be making a return after 12 months of injury lay off, holds the key for West Indies. She brings in the much needed X-factor with her power game. Skipper Stafanie Taylor will be another key player to watch out for. The batting all-rounder on her day can win games single-handedly and West Indies will hope she fires at the crucial stages of the tournament.
Stafanie Taylor (c), Aaliyah Alleyne, Shemaine Campbelle, Shamilia Connell, Britney Cooper, Deandra Dottin, Afy Fletcher, Cherry-Ann Fraser, Sheneta Grimmond, Chinelle Henry, Lee-Ann Kirby, Hayley Matthews, Anisa Mohammed, Chedean Nation, Shakera Selman
- West Indies vs Thailand February 22, WACA, Perth
- West Indies vs Pakistan February 26, Manuka Oval, Canberra,
- West Indies vs England March 1, Sydney Showground, Sydney
- West Indies vs South Africa March 3, Sydney Showground, Sydney