Wed | Apr 1, 2020

Tanya Lee | May the best women win!

Published:Friday | February 21, 2020 | 12:12 AM
The captains of the 10 countries participating in the ICC Women’s Twenty20 World Cup pose for a photo with the trophy in Sydney, Australia, on Monday. The tournament begins today. From left are, Sornnarin Tippoch of Thailand, Stafanie Taylor of West Indies, Harmanpreet Kaur of India, Sophie Devine of New Zealand, Meg Lanning of Australia, Heather Knight of England, Salma Khatun of Bangladesh. Chamari Atapattu of Sri Lanka, Bismah Maroof of Pakistan and Dane van Niekerk of South Africa.
The captains of the 10 countries participating in the ICC Women’s Twenty20 World Cup pose for a photo with the trophy in Sydney, Australia, on Monday. The tournament begins today. From left are, Sornnarin Tippoch of Thailand, Stafanie Taylor of West Indies, Harmanpreet Kaur of India, Sophie Devine of New Zealand, Meg Lanning of Australia, Heather Knight of England, Salma Khatun of Bangladesh. Chamari Atapattu of Sri Lanka, Bismah Maroof of Pakistan and Dane van Niekerk of South Africa.

The ICC Women’s Twenty20 (T20) World Cup gets under way tomorrow in Australia when the Windies face newcomers Thailand in their opener. The Windies should find their opponents, ranked 11th, manageable. They will need to finish among the top two in group B, which also consists of England, South Africa, and Pakistan, to advance to the semi-final.

The Windies are currently ranked fifth in the world, with England and South Africa the only teams likely to present real problems for our experienced squad. My hope is that the team goes beyond the semi-finals and returns to the top of Women’s T20 cricket, a height attained in the 2016 edition of the tournament. They did not play particularly well in 2018, but did enough to make it to the semi-final where they faced a dominant Australia team and were sent packing. I suppose another consolation then is that Australia went on to win the tournament.

I’m anxious to see how our women will perform this time around and, sadly, they suffer the same issues as our men’s team, that of frequent injuries, which have negatively impacted results. Shamilia Connell and Shakera Selman are back and should provide a boost to the team, provided they are fully match ready, as they haven’t played much cricket recently.

WINDIES’ CHANCES GOOD

The Windies’ chances are as good as any to make the semi-final, and possibly the final, given the strength and experience of our strongest members. Deandra Dottin, possibly the most dangerous all-rounder in the world, is our not-so-secret weapon. Dottin will take wickets and put enough runs on the board to swing matches in our favour.

Our masterclass captain Stafanie Taylor had a phenomenal 2019 where she topped the cricketing world by scoring the most runs in both the one-day international (ODI) and T20 formats. The 28-year-old is a seasoned campaigner who has donned the maroon and gold on over 100 occasions. She heads to Australia with fond memories of winning four years prior.

“Winning the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup was one of the most amazing experiences I’ve ever had in my career, and I’d love nothing more than to win it all over again,” Taylor said.

Sounds like she means business.

Victory will require that all players show up and give a solid performance from start to finish.

Another trusted veteran is Anisa Mohammed, probably the best T20 spinner in the world, and one who will likely present issues for a few batswomen. Mohammed is a consistently beguiling bowler who uses her four overs economically.

For the tournament itself, women’s cricket has experienced some huge audiences in recent years. India reached the final of the 2017 Women’s ODI World Cup and the ICC says they brought more than 180 million television viewers with them. The Women’s T20 World Cup was watched in more than 200 countries in 2018. T20 is the most commonly played format in the women’s game in an effort to drive consumption among younger audiences.

Australia have won four of the six Women’s T20 World Cups so far, and are the clear favourites this time around. And of course, they have home advantage. May the best women win. One Love.

Tanya Lee has over 10 years’ expertise as a Caribbean sports marketer and is also an athlete manager and publicist.

ICC Women’s T20 World Cup past winners:

2018 – Australia

2016 – Windies

2014 – Australia

2012 – Australia

2010 – Australia

2009 – England