Black Immigrant Daily News
West Indies will open their ICC Women’s T20 World Cup in South Africa against England at Boland Park in Paarl on Saturday.
Captain Hayley Matthews is hopeful that veteran player Stafanie Taylor will be assessed as fit to play before the match, as the Jamaican experience and great skills would be a big for the West Indies batting line against England and throughout the tournament.
The match starts at 3:00 pm (9:00 am Eastern Caribbean/8:00 am Jamaica).
Speaking ahead of the match Matthews said: “It’s going to be really good for us that we can get out there and have a strong group of players to pick from. We’ve had a couple of injuries over the last couple of weeks, but we know that we can go there, hopefully with a much stronger side and put on a good performance. The prospect of Staf, hopefully, coming back in that first game tomorrow is going to be something really good to see.”
Also returning from injury is Jamaican all-rounder Chinelle Henry who missed the recent Tri-Nations series and was injured during the international home series against England when they visited the Caribbean last December and Shakera Selman who also missed most of the Tri-Nations series.
Henry’s all-round ability as a pinch-hitter is critical to the batting, as well as her opening bowling spell.
Matthews said on the returning players: “We definitely had a lot to learn from that series (against England in December) but at the same time we’ve got the opportunity now for our players who have previously done well against England to be back in the set-up which I think is good for us to go out there and play a really good game.”
The inclusion of three Rising Stars players from the recently concluded ICC Women’s U19 World Cup is a welcomed injection of youth and fresh legs into the squad.
“We felt it was the right time to bring some young players in, not just to be here but to really get the experience. We might see some of them feature in this tournament but it’s a great learning experience for them,” added Matthews.
The West Indies are heading into the first match on a winning note after they defeated Sri Lanka in their final warmup match last Wednesday.
West Indies and England are drawn in Group 2 alongside India, Pakistan, and Ireland.
The eighth edition of the marquee event started on Friday.
Newlands, Cape Town; Boland Park, Paarl, and St. George’s Park, Gqeberha are the host venues for the tournament with both semi-finals and final being played in Cape Town on February 26.
West Indies Match Schedule
11 February: v England, Boland Park, Paarl, 3pm (9am Eastern Caribbean/8am Jamaica)15 February: v India, Newlands, Cape Town, 3pm (9am Eastern Caribbean/8am Jamaica)17 February: v Ireland, Newlands, Cape Town,7pm (1pm Eastern Caribbean/12 noon Jamaica)19 February: v Pakistan, Boland Park, Paarl, 3pm (9am Eastern Caribbean/8am Jamaica)