‘As a senior player you have to step up’- Campbelle
By Avenash Ramzan
October 21, 2019 marked 10 years since Guyanese Shemaine Campbelle made her international debut for the senior West Indies side in an ODI match against South Africa.
That baptism came six days after the Berbician all-rounder celebrated her 17th birthday. She made only six batting at number nine, but had frugal figures of 8-1-24-0 in the seven-wicket loss, defending a small target of 160.
Four days later, the right-handed batter, medium-pacer and occasional wicketkeeper was handed her first T20I cap and made an immediate impact, emerging as the pick of the West Indies bowlers with figures of 4-1-7-3.
That spell was largely responsible for the Proteas being restricted to 93-8; West Indies knocked off the target in 12.3 overs, losing four wickets in the process.
Incidentally, that spell in Paarl remains Campbelle’s career-best in the shorter format.
A decade later, the 27-year-old remains a critical piece in West Indies Women’s cricket, overcoming the lows and embracing the highs, the most notable being a memorable 100 from number seven against Sri Lanka in Dambulla in 2013 and the World T20 success in Kolkata in 2016.
Now a senior member of the pack, having played 83 ODIs and 96 T20Is, Campbelle was elevated to the post of Vice-captain to Anisa Mohammed for the ongoing T20 series against India Women in the Caribbean.
The leadership change was necessitated by the absence of regular captain Stafanie Taylor, who suffered a ligament strain that has ruled out of all five games.
“I was captain of the Guyana team before so the experience is there. As a senior player you have to step up to the table at times. I think it is a great opportunity for me,” Campbelle said of her new role.
It has been a testing introduction to leadership at the highest level with India Women dominating the first two games, winning the opener by 84 runs after making 185-4 and then racing to a 10-wicket win in the second match after restricting West Indies to 103-7.
The series now heads to Guyana for the final three games, the first of which will be held today (Thursday, November 14) at the National Stadium, Providence, from 18:00h.
Speaking on the eve of the crucial contest, Campbelle said: “We’ve been working hard. We just have to go out there and stick to our plan and execute and hopefully everything would fall into place for the team.”
The tourists have been led by their openers, 15-year-old Shafali Verma with scores of 73 on debut and 69 not out and the experienced Srimiti Mandhana with 97 runs in two innings.
By contrast, the highest score by a West Indian in the series thus far is 33 made by Campbelle.
“There is always room for improvement. I still have some work to do on my batting; I was out for a while with an injury, but I’m coming back strong. I just got to go out there and execute,” Campbelle said about her personal form with the bat.
Reflecting on the two defeats in St. Lucia, Campbelle asserted that the batting has to step up to really challenge India going forward.
“I just want to encourage everyone to come out and support the team because I know we will have some exciting cricket,” she implored.
Admission to the venue is G$1,000 (Approx. US$5)
The final two games are fixed for November 17 at 13:30h and November 20 at 18:00h.