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Sport Matters

UWI Women’s Cricket Club: Inspiring change

Published:Sunday | March 19, 2023 | 1:32 AMNadra Dwarika-Baptiste/Contributor

Members of The University of the West Indies Women’s Cricket Club, who were promoted to the Trinidad and Tobago Women’s Cricket Association Premiership this season.
Members of The University of the West Indies Women’s Cricket Club, who were promoted to the Trinidad and Tobago Women’s Cricket Association Premiership this season.
Nadra Dwarika-Baptiste
Nadra Dwarika-Baptiste

WOMEN’S CRICKET is arguably the fastest growing spectator sport, as evidenced by a record-breaking stadium attendance in the 2020 ICC T20 World Cup Final (86,174) and the outstanding global viewership of the event, with 53 million viewers tuning in ( It is indeed an exciting time to be an active and up-and-coming female cricketer, poised to create history and forge a career path. The horizon is expanding and there is significant opportunity for advancement.

The Women’s Big Bash League (Australia), The Hundred (England), the recent Women’s Caribbean Premier League (West Indies) and the upcoming Women’s Indian Premier League (WIPL) are just some of the major leagues that bear testimony to this.

For the last 10 years, The University of the West Indies Women’s Cricket Club (UWI WCC) at the St Augustine campus has been part of this revolution, actively promoting women’s cricket.

The UWI WCC made its Premiership debut in the Trinidad and Tobago Women’s Cricket Association (TTWCA) competition, which bowled off last month. The debut coincides with the celebration of The UWI’s 75th anniversary.

In September of 2012, students from various faculties realised that while there was a university men’s cricket club, there was no university female cricket club. This inspired agri-business student Chrysel James to be a game changer and together with Amaliah Wallace, Deanna Bachan, and then-sport coordinator, Davindra Singh, made history by forming the first-ever UWI St Augustine women’s cricket club. The group posted flyers around the campus and started aggressive word-of-mouth advertising to recruit members.

Their efforts paid dividends, as they attracted enough persons to commence training at the campus’ cricket nets on the Sir Frank Worrell cricket field. A germ of an idea was transformed into sporting reality.

The club’s mission is to promote individual and team performance, while simultaneously seeking academic excellence and gender equality.

Every female student – local and regional – on campus has the opportunity to be part of its mission through engaging in a quality extracurricular activity and the inculcation of core values of commitment, discipline, integrity and success.

There have been challenges along the way.

Fielding a full team may be difficult at times, especially when players must choose between exams and game-day; and, when students graduate, there is an undesirable turnover rate. Still, the club has navigated these uncertain waters and continues to participate in competitions organised by the TTWCA. by opening its doors to invited players, The UWI WCC has remained competitive and captured its first Championship title in the 30-over League in 2017 and the Championship Sixes in 2018.

The introduction of The UWI’s eighth faculty, the Faculty of Sport, in 2018, led to a restructuring of the women’s cricket programme by Grace Jackson, the then-director of the Sport and Physical Education Centre. Stephanie Judith Power (former West Indies captain) was appointed as team coach and the leadership team comprised of Nadra Dwarika-Baptiste, Talia Baksh and Tammika Nanan-Ramsumair.

The restructuring yielded immediate results, as the team captured the T20 and inaugural T10 title in 2019.

The UWI WCC secured promotion to the once-elusive Premiership Division in 2020 by finishing runners-up in the Championship Division. Dwarika-Baptiste has been the most successful captain for the club, steering them to three titles in her four-year stint as captain.

Not surprisingly, the club has produced several national players, some of whom have represented the West Indies. The first ladies to earn national call-ups to the senior team were Rachael Vincent (2016) and Caneisha Isaac (2017). Vincent later represented the Guyana Amazon Warriors in the inaugural Women’s Caribbean Premier League in 2022, while Isaac represented the Trinbago Knight Riders – the eventual champions. Sixteen-year-old Ayah Baksh featured for the national under-19 team in 2021 and 2022 and current players Victoria Madoo and Alison Matthews were part of the national training unit for the Senior Regional Women’s Competition in 2022, and continue to train with them in 2023.

There is no question that The UWI WCC will continue churning out players to compete nationally, regionally, and internationally.

Club members see themselves as a team and a family. It is the ideal arena for female students from across the Caribbean to meet and forge long-lasting friendships over a shared sport.

The hope is that the success of the St Augustine Women’s Cricket Club will inspire a similar movement at its sister campuses in Mona, Cave Hill, Five Islands and at the Open Campus.

In her new portfolio as the club’s manager, Dwarika-Baptiste related the club’s ethos to The UWI’s 75th anniversary theme: “We are Rooted to our values, Ready to contribute to the development of The UWI’s vision, and intent on Rising to the challenge of empowering women in various communities”.

Sport Pulse and Sport Matters are fortnightly columns highlighting advances that impact Sport. We look forward to your continued readership.

Nadra Dwarika-Baptiste (MSc., BSc.) is an administrative assistant at the St Augustine Academy of Sport, Faculty of Sport, UWI, St Augustine Campus. She is a level II cricket umpire and level I coach. She can be reached at