2022 Women’s World Cup – Stafanie Taylor promises of greater things in future as West Indies sign off from World Cup

2022 Women's World Cup - Stafanie Taylor promises of greater things in future as West Indies sign off from World Cup
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Highlights of tournament for WI captain were the wins over New Zealand and England in the league stage

“You’ll be seeing us around,” Stafanie Taylor, the West Indies captain, said after an emphatic 157-run defeat at the hands of title favourites Australia knocked her side out of a World Cup tournament regarded as a resounding success for her team.

Two batters down chasing a mammoth 306 from 45 overs after Anisa Mohammad injured her hamstring while fielding and Chinelle Henry took ill during the match, West Indies had been comprehensively out-played long before that.

Australian centurion Alyssa Healy and Rachael Haynes put on 216 runs for the first wicket and a steady stream of wickets knocked West Indies’ pursuit on the head shortly after it got going via Deandra Dottin and then Hayley Matthews, with Taylor only able to hold the innings together for so long, by which point the run rate required had blown out.

But Taylor said reaching the semi-finals showed the progress her side had made since reaching the tournament based on world rankings when the qualifiers were cancelled amid the Covid-19 pandemic, then losing their four-match ODI series against South Africa in the lead-up 2-1.

West Indies set the World Cup alight by defeating New Zealand and England in their first two matches but fell away after that, winning just one more game – against Bangladesh – before a washout against South Africa left them relying on South Africa’s narrow defeat of India to scrape into the final four.

“We beat two of the top teams and I reckon no one expected that,” Taylor said. “And to be in the semi-finals, no one expected that. The way we played throughout the tournament has been really good.

“We had some downs and that happens. It’s about learning and I believe that we are still learning. I’m very proud of the way we played. We still have more to go, so yeah, you’ll see us around.”

Matthews was West Indies’ leading run-scorer with 260 at 37.14 and a strike rate of 80.00 as well as their leading wicket-taker with eight at an average of 26.80. She echoed her captain’s belief that the tournament was a success and hoped it would provide a solid platform for future growth.

“Beating a team like New Zealand and then being able to beat a team like England right after, these are things that we couldn’t imagine doing a year ago,” Matthews said. “It’s just really, really good to be a part of the growth that this team has had over the last year and I genuinely do think that if we continue moving in this direction, there’s only bigger things for us.

“When you speak about the advantages some of the other teams would have over us, like Australia or England, with their domestic structure and the amount of talent that they have to pull from within their pools, and then you look at us competing against teams like that, it just shows the fight and the heart that we really do have as a team.

“When you look at the characteristics of this team, you think of people who play with their hearts on their sleeves. We come into every game with so much emotion and so much passion, trying to represent the West Indies and the Caribbean and we plan to continuously do that, all the time, try to play with us as much fight as we possibly can.

“We are by no means the absolutely best cricketers in the world compared to some of the others but at the same time we play with so much fight and so much spirit that we can compete with the best in the world, which is brilliant to be a part of.”

And Matthews believed that West Indies were on the right path towards developing more local talent via domestic competition such as the recently announced three-team Women’s CPL starting later this year.

“The more cricket we can play at a lower level to the domestic stuff, the better,” she said. “Hopefully we can get some more young girls coming through the system.

“In this batch of players, this may be a lot of their last World Cups… it would be really good if we could start to nurture some younger players throughout the domestic cricket season and get some more people filtering into West Indies stuff.”

Valkerie Baynes is a general editor at ESPNcricinfo

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