Collymore sees great potential in Guyanese all-rounders Gajnabi and Fraser


By Akeem Greene

New West Indies Women’s Assistant Coach, Corey Collymore, said he is impressed thus far by young Guyanese all-rounders Shabika Gajnabi and Cherry-Ann Fraser as they prepare for five T20 Internationals against host England later this month.

Gajnabi, a 20-year-old Berbician, has the record for the highest individual score (215) in a 50-over match during the Inter-County competition earlier this year, and is seen as a bright prospect by many. She is also a competent medium-pacer.

Gajnabi has so far played 10 internationals – five ODIs and five T20Is – while Fraser, who is an also an all-rounder, made this year’s T20 World Cup squad, but is yet to debut.

West Indies Women’s team Assistant Coach, Corey Collymore

Speaking at a Virtual briefing on Friday, Collymore said while he is new to the team, he has seen great potential in the duo.

“I think Gajnabi is a good all-rounder and not just a good batter,” Collymore stated. “From what I have seen she has some good bowling skills and she has got a good arm [in] throwing the ball from the boundary and good fielding skills, anticipates well from what I have seen.”

“I think the future is bright; there is also Cherry-Ann Fraser from Guyana and those are two girls for the future that I think could develop into quality all-rounders”, he added.

Shemaine Campbelle, Sheneta Grimmond and uncapped left-arm spinner Kaysia Shultz are the other Guyanese players in the 18-member squad.

The coach indicated that Shultz is still a work in progress.

“Kaysia is settling well; she speaks a lot about her rhythm and she is one who thinks she was a bit short of work. Over the past couple of weeks, we have been doing a lot but we still have to manage players’ workload as it regards returning to training and competitions, so for me, it is still a work in progress.”

Guyanese Kaysia Shultz training with the West Indies team

The two sides have met 19 times in T20Is and both share eight victories apiece, while two have been abandoned and one tied.

In England, West Indies Women have only won once of in eight attempts, with five going to England and two abandoned.

To improve such a record, Collymore, the former International cricketer, believes fielding will be of paramount importance.

“I think fielding will play a very big part in the UK [United Kingdom]; cold weather, some of them coming for the first time and also, it is coming on to wintertime. I think our fielding will definitely play a big part, we should definitely top up on our fielding a lot more.”

West Indies will be looking to get the better of the hosts who prevented them from reaching the knockout stages of the World T20 tournament in Australia earlier this year when they won their group clash by 46 runs to progress to the semi-finals.

The first T20I is set for September 21.

West Indies Women Full Squad: Stafanie Taylor, Deandra Dottin, Shemaine Campbelle, Afy Fletcher, Hayley Matthews, Shamilia Connell, Britney Cooper, Chedean Nation, Natasha McLean, Chinelle Henry, Aaliyah Alleyne, LeeAnn Kirby, Sheneta Grimmond, Karishma Ramharack, Shabika Gajnabi, Cherry-Ann Fraser, Kaysia Schultz.

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