With England having safely advanced to the final of the Women’s World Twenty20, West Indies and Australia will be competing to face them when they do battle in the second semi-final in Colombo on Friday.
The Aussies will go into the contest as favourites but one woman determined to block their path will be the recently crowned ICC Women’s ODI Cricketer of the Year, Stafanie Taylor. We spoke to Taylor ahead of the tournament about her phenomenal year and the upsurge in women’s cricket in the Caribbean as part of the AOC women’s special.
It seems like West Indies are going in the right direction at the moment, Stafanie…
For us, four years ago everyone started playing together and we’ve got a good bunch of girls. Four years ago no one knew about West Indies and now we’re on the rise – you can dominate and that’s what we’re doing. We love the Twenty20 game, we’re excited by it and we’re good at it. We have a lot of key players. You have Deandra Dottin who comes out and hits the ball right out of the park, and Shanel Daley who comes and gets a few wickets and some runs, and Anisa Mohammed who gets key wickets for us. We have a good mixture.
How is women’s cricket in the West Indies itself?
It’s great, during our women’s regional competition between Trinidad, Jamaica and all of those Caribbean islands who come to play together, it was really exciting: everyone’s coming down to the game, they’re watching, they’re talking, it’s on the news. Every time I go out people recognise me.
How did you personally get into cricket?
Well I didn’t know anything about cricket; I started when I was about eight. The moment I was introduced to it I loved it, I picked up the bat and never put it down again.
You have a hard-hitting style, do you see yourself as a bit of a dasher?
It’s what the team needs at that crucial time. If the team needs me to go and hit I can do that, if they need me to be calm and get singles I can do that. I’d never played Twenty20 – people say, ‘I think your record in Twenty20 is better than ODIs’ but I think I’m better at ODIs than Twenty20s. I am good at both. For me it’s just exciting going out there and making runs for the team.
What do you do outside of cricket, do you have a job?
No, eight of us are on a retainer and I’m pursuing forensic sciences at UTech university in Jamaica, that’s my aim – that and playing cricket.
What teams around the world do you see as your biggest challengers?
I would definitely say England. They know how to win, when we first came about we didn’t and we tried to take a lot from them. Then after that we just started thinking about what we should do. England just play so well, they definitely know their players, and right now, watching them – we play like that too.