Wed | Oct 4, 2023

New WI Women’s head coach seeking 20 ‘good players’

Published:Tuesday | September 19, 2023 | 12:08 AM
Windies Women head coach Shane Deitz.
Windies Women head coach Shane Deitz.
West Indies Women’s captain Hayley Matthews.
West Indies Women’s captain Hayley Matthews.

ST JOHN’S, Antigua (CMC):

New head coach Shane Deitz said he is looking for a pool of about 20 players to form the nucleus of the West Indies (WI) Women’s team during his tenure.

The 48-year-old Australian started in the new role ahead of the Women’s Caribbean Premier League in August, and he is preparing to take the side on a tour to his homeland for a series of three One-day and three Twenty20 Internationals.

He replaced former Jamaica and WI captain, and record-setting fast bowler Courtney Walsh, whose contract was not renewed following a review of the team’s performance in April this year.

Robert Samuels, the former Jamaica captain and WI opener, was an assistant to Walsh. His contract was also not renewed, but he was appointed interim head coach for the home series of the ODIs and T20Is against Ireland in July.

Deitz said WI Women already had a core group of players upon which he hoped to build a formidable fighting force that will play a Caribbean brand of the game that has become the hallmark of other teams around the world.

“We will work towards that, so they will have the ability to play that style of cricket, and I think that is the most successful (style) around the world and the way that Australia play at the moment. So we are definitely going to follow that method and play that style of cricket and play the Caribbean way,” he said during a recent virtual news conference.

“Obviously, we have a few players who are in the top of the world ranking like Hayley (Matthews) and Stafanie (Taylor), while (Chinelle) Henry is also showing signs of being an elite cricketer.”


He added: “We have got some great spinners, so there is a nucleus there and then some younger players have come into the squad and, like the experienced ones, they have been proven over time to be world-class.

“But we need up to 20 players that are world-class, so there are a lot of players we have to add to that … and there is a lot of young talent there, and we are working to get those up to the level of our top players.”

Deitz said the tour of Australia will be an opportunity for him to gauge the strength of the team and to create a long-term development plan for the players, with a view to challenging for a World Cup in the near future.

“We need up to 20 players who are capable of playing international cricket,” he said. “To do that will take five years or so ...

“The reality is, at the moment, we are starting from a position where we are a little bit behind the better teams in the world. So we have some catching up to do. It ain’t going to be easy.”

He said, at the heart of the drive for success will be players taking greater responsibility for their fitness and preparation and not solely waiting for an organised environment such as a training camp to get the work needed done.

“I think it’s a non-negotiable at any standard of high-level sport; you gotta work hard to have success. So it’s not only work hard, it’s work smart as well, and that is probably the key – a proper programme that fits the way we train and our facilities, and what we have got here to offer the players,” he said.

WI Women are ranked sixth in both the One-Day International and Twenty20 International formats.