Arnos Vale, St. Vincent – Vasbert Drakes, Head Coach of the West Indies Women’s Cricket Team, said “the recently-concluded Super50 was the perfect opportunity to see the best women in the region, but also for those players to fine-tune the skills necessary to effectively compete in that format of the game.” Drakes is set to head to England later this month with a squad to put in final preparations for the Women’s World Cup this summer.
While admitting that there is quite a bit of work to be done, the coaching veteran was particularly encouraged and excited by the emergence of some fine raw talent throughout the region. Drakes was careful however, not to get too carried away with new players who may have come unto the selectors’ radar. While he believes the talent throughout the region is immense and will continue to grow, Drakes doesn’t see the entire makeup of the team being dynamically shifted right before such a major tournament. He stated, “I think we were always looking at a core group of players that we believe can compete at the World Cup; but obviously, we are now in the process of selecting the final squad. There are some young players who I think may have come into contention.”
Drakes was careful not to call names, as the decision ultimately isn’t his solely to make, but noted that positive performances by all regional players can only be good for the West Indies team. He spoke highly of the “healthy competition” created by such. The Head Coach since 2015 loves the enthusiasm and eagerness which was displayed in the tournament. He is quite grateful for players wanting to learn, wanting to develop and wanting to eventually become a part of the regional team. “You can definitely see the energy, you can see the work-ethic. That will always serve well for West Indies Cricket, if you have young players who have that belief that they can knock on the door and eventually push their way into the team” Drakes proclaimed.
He was also pleased with the performances of some of the established West Indies players. He noted that they were the ones who had match-winning performances for their teams in many instances. Drakes is very cognizant of the fact that the conditions in St. Vincent would have heavily favoured the bowlers. Therefore, he is not too disappointed with the tournament having been low-scoring in general. He instead viewed the fact that some players were able to get big totals on at least a few occasions as a positive. It highlighted their class and showcased their ability to quickly adapt to diverse conditions. This is a trait which will be important, while experiencing differing pitches throughout England in the summer. Another big positive to Drakes, was the teams’ ability to defend their targets, clearly identifying bowling as the general strong suite in the region.
Overall, the tournament proved very exciting and beneficial. It gave the selectors and coaching staff a great opportunity to assess where the players are in their preparation, before going into a training camp, which will be held in Barbados prior to leaving for England on May 31.