A round-up of who said what, who did what and the women who matter at the Women’s World Cup 2017, starting in England on June 24.
“One of the legacies of the tournament is going to be the number of kids that get involved through schools and clubs.”
Steve Elworthy is a busy man these days, with the difficult job of ensuring the smooth passage of two big tournaments in the United Kingdom. The Women’s World Cup, Elworthy told Wisden India in an interview, would be all about getting schools involved.
India appointed a fielding coach in Biju George to help get their hands on the World Cup. George has worked with the India Under-19 team and was part of the Kolkata Knight Riders’ backroom staff during the last Indian Premier League.
One practice match has also been lined up for Mithali Raj’s side to help with acclimatisation. They’ll take on England on June 13, just two days after landing; their official warm-ups begin on June 19.
In contrast, West Indies Women will have been in England for over three weeks before they play their first World Cup match. A five-day bonding camp at home is being followed by 17 days of training in Southampton. “It will be a good opportunity for us to recreate the strong team culture that was a hallmark of our side over the last two years,” said Vasbert Drakes, the coach.
Newcomer Akeira Peters in full flight as Windies Women prepare to head to England for their camp ahead of ICC World Cup. pic.twitter.com/TlnANQGiWV
— CricketWestIndies (@westindies) May 31, 2017
Australia’s preparation involves a heavy dose of inspiration. Or intimidation – depending on how they look at it! Meg Lanning’s team was to meet members of former World Cup-winning teams from the country. It’ll be quite a crowd, what with Australia having lifted the trophy in 1978, 1982, 1988, 1997, 2005 and 2013.
— Southern Stars ???? (@SouthernStars) May 19, 2017
Meanwhile, Sri Lanka Cricket prepared for their future World Cup stars with the formation of the Women’s National Development Squad. Thirty promising cricketers were chosen from across the country, through talent and training camps over 18 months, to hone their skill under provincial coaches in a six-month programme. They are to be given a monthly stipend, with the top 20 from the programme continuing to the next level.
Sarah Taylor’s heartening return to cricket in time for the World Cup after taking a break to deal with anxiety has been accompanied by her resolve to be frank about her mental health issues.
In an interview posted on the ECB website, Taylor, England’s wicketkeeper-batter, said: “I still have anxiety day to day. But I’m in a much better position than I was, including in my cricket.”
Hailing the support of the board and her teammates, she added: “I’m not the finished article. New places are still a struggle for me and I still have to push through those on a day-to-day basis. Where I’m most comfortable is out in the middle.”
West Indies rookie Qiana Joseph, at 16 years and 143 days, will be the youngest player at the 2017 edition. New Zealand’s Amanda Kerr is also 16, but a few days older than Joseph.