Captain Stafanie feels like a ‘superstar’
Stafanie Taylor, the Jamaican who led the regional women's cricket team to its first ICC World T20 title, was treated to a welcome-home ceremony fit for a heroine inside the Pineapple Lounge at the Norman Manley International Airport yesterday.
In attendance at yesterday's event were Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport Olivia 'Babsy' Grange, who also represents the Spanish Town constituency from whence the cricketer hails; and Wilford 'Billy' Heaven, president of the Jamaica Cricket Association, who praised the Jamaican for having "team spirit that we have never seen before".
It was Taylor's third time at the World Cup and first in the leadership role, having been appointed captain in September last year.
"The road has been really rough, I can tell you being the captain and the leader. It left me with no friends," she joked.
"When we got into Barbados, I got a reception that I've never received before; I felt like a superstar when we arrived in Barbados yesterday, and today, it was like a reminder of feeling like a superstar," she told the media.
The 24-year-old said thanks to the fans, supporters, sponsors and her family at home who were eagerly awaiting her arrival.
"Today, it is Spanish Town day," joked Grange, who said all the people of the Caribbean will be talking about her constituent for years.
"I am really happy to be here again. Stafanie has been a source of inspiration for many of us. Years from now, we will be talking about this little girl from Gordon Pen in Spanish Town that led a band of heroines from the Caribbean and made history in Kolkata, India," said Grange.
She added that "a big session" will take place for Taylor in Gordon Pen today and also assured that plans will begin soon to rehabilitate the Stafanie Taylor Oval at Eltham High School, where Taylor's talent blossomed while a student there.
Taylor, who was named Player of the Tournament for her consistent contribution, was named captain of the ICC Select World T20 team of the tournament, which includes fellow West Indies player, Barbadian all rounder Deandra Dottin.
Patrick King, director of customer solutions, Digicel, which is the main sponsor of West Indies cricket, said his organisation remains proud to be a part of the ascendancy of the game in the region.
The West Indies men's team also won the World T20 title, on Sunday in England, and in February, the West Indies Under-19 team won the ICC Youth World Cup in Sri Lanka.