All set for WICB Women’s Regional bowl-off
By Avenash Ramzan
Only the inclement weather can play spoilsport on Thursday, as all systems are in place for the bowl-off of the West Indies Cricket Board’s (WICB) Senior Regional Women’s 50-over championship in Guyana.
At the official launch/opening ceremony of the tournament on Wednesday evening in the main pavilion of the world renowned Georgetown Cricket Club, Bourda, president of the Guyana Cricket Board (GCB), Drubahadur, announced that the ‘green light’ is certainly on ahead of the first of matches on Thursday.
For the first time in the history of the competition, all six traditional cricket territories of the Caribbean will compete for top honours, and according to Drubahadur, it provides a perfect opportunity for the region’s up and coming cricketers to mingle with and learn from members of the successful West Indies World T20 World Cup side.
The GCB head said it is his hope that the tournament will be “competitive” and “injury free”, and that the players will use the platform to showcase their talents.
WICB Project Officer for Women’s Cricket, Josina Luke, labelled 2016 as a “special year” for West Indies cricket, as apart from the World T20 success in India in April, there is renewed interest in women’s cricket in the region.
She alluded to the fact that the Leeward Islands will field a team for the first time in the history of the tournament.
“It’s gratifying from the West Indies Cricket Board standpoint and those responsible for women’s cricket to see that the Leeward Islands has identified a number of promising players that one day could be a member of the West Indies Women’s team,” Luke told the gathering.
She encouraged the players to share their knowledge and have discussions among themselves, since there is much to be learnt from each other, especially the members of the World Cup winning West Indies T20 side.
Luke is also excited by the presence of new players in the teams this year, something she believes will auger well for the game in the Caribbean.
Director of Sport Christopher Jones welcomed the visiting teams, and spoke of the administration’s intent to fuel the development of not just female cricket, but sport on the distaff side on the whole.
“The government of Guyana last year would have allocated significant amount of funding in its budget to ensure that we have as much as possible female participation in sport, and of course of the differently able. By virtue of your presence here in Guyana we hope that this is another impetus to encourage our females throughout the country to be involved in sports and continue their endeavours in that,” Jones posited.
The tournament will bowl off on Thursday with three matches, all starting at 09:30h. Guyana will take on the Windward Islands at Enterprise; Jamaica will face the Leeward Islands at Everest; and Barbados will tackle Trinidad and Tobago at Enmore.
Games in the 50-over leg will continue on July 9, 11, 13, 15 and 17 at the three venues named above, while the T20 segment will start on July 21 and conclude on July 25, with all matches slated for the National Stadium, Providence.
Among the top players set to be on show are Shemaine Campbelle, Tremayne Smartt and Subrina Munroe of Guyana; Afy Fletcher and Juliana Nero of the Windward Islands; Deandra Dottin, Shaquana Quintyne and Hayley Matthews of Barbados; Shawnisha Hector and Sandelo Willet of Leeward Islands; Merissa Aguilleira, Anisa Mohamed, Britney Cooper and Stacy Ann King of Trinidad and Tobago; and Stafanie Taylor, Chedean Nation and Shanel Daley of Jamaica.
Admission to the games is free.