Walsh wants consistency from West Indies Women Vice-captain Shemaine Campbelle
Guyanese Shemaine Campbelle has featured in 217 international matches for West Indies Women in a career that started in 2009, and that number places her within the experienced group of players in the squad.
With the Women’s World T20 set to start on February 11 in South Africa, and the Caribbean side in action against England on February 13, Head Coach Courtney Walsh is optimistic there can be an improvement from their round one exit in 2020.
One player Walsh has eyes on to fuel the turnaround in fortunes is Campbelle, who has been elevated to the Vice-captaincy position for the tournament.
However, for her to cushion and guide the 2016 World T20 champions to more wins, consistency is critical and it has not been her strong suit.
In her last eight T20I innings, the 30-year-old has recorded 0, 1, 47, 11, 17, 0, 15, and 10.
“We want her to be a little more consistent, we keep seeing scores here and there. So we are hoping with the added responsibility and her experience, she can settle in and be more consistent and if she does that, it will give us a lot more depth and we can bat around her a lot more,” Walsh stated at a virtual press briefing on Thursday.
In 24 T20Is since the last World T20, the West Indies Women have endured 19 defeats and won only five, but are still ranked sixth in the format.
They played in a recent tri-nation series with host South Africa and India, but struggled to win any match in the build-up to the World T20.
Injuries to key and experienced players have been a bugbear, but with some of those players making a return for the World Cup, Walsh is enthused about what looms.
“On the day we can beat any team, with the string of results, the girls are hungry to turn it around…every team has a chance of beating each other. It is the 10 best teams playing, sometimes it goes down to who is hungrier, and sometimes you need a bit of luck,” the legendary West Indies pacer expressed.
Albeit the team is disappointed with the recent results, Walsh was clear they are “not low on confidence” and given the World Cup is the biggest, the attention is pinned on doing well.
Though the inclusion of experienced player and former captain Stafanie Taylor is subject to a fitness test, it is likely she will still form part of the squad, irrespective of those results, as the Walsh will look to select his “strongest team.”
Taylor last represented West Indies in September 2022.
Lead Selector Ann Browne-John also spoke on a confident note that their aim is to win and they have what it takes to achieve that goal.
“Everybody is going into the World Cup wanting to win and we will be going into the World Cup wanting to win. We have put our best team forward and I always have a view that when match days come it’s my team against your team, and who wants to win more,” Browne-John expressed.
The West Indies squad features six players- Hayley Matthews, Shemaine Campbelle, Stafanie Taylor, Shamilia Connell, Shakera Selman and Afy Fletcher- who were part of the World Champion side in 2016.
West Indies have been drawn in Group 2 alongside England, India, Pakistan and Ireland and will travel to Cape Town on February 3 ahead of the start of the tournament, on February 10 when hosts South Africa take on Sri Lanka.
The tournament will end on February 26. (CWI)
West Indies T20 World Cup Match Schedule:
Monday, 13 February: West Indies vs England, Boland Park, Paarl, 15:00h (09:00h Eastern Caribbean/08:00h Jamaica)
Wednesday, 15 February: West Indies vs India, Newlands, Cape Town, 15:00h (09:00h Eastern Caribbean/08:00h Jamaica)
Friday, 17 February: West Indies vs Ireland, Newlands, Cape Town, 19:00h (13:00h Eastern Caribbean/12 noon Jamaica)
Sunday, 19 February: West Indies vs Pakistan, Boland Park, Paarl, 15:00h (09:00h Eastern Caribbean/08:00h Jamaica)
FULL SQUAD: Hayley Matthews (Captain), Shemaine Campbelle (Vice-Captain), Aaliyah Alleyne, Shamilia Connell, Afy Fletcher, Shabika Gajnabi, Chinelle Henry, Trishan Holder, Zaida James, Djenaba Joseph, Chedean Nation, Karishma Ramharack, Shakera Selman, Stafanie Taylor, Rashada Williams.