CAVE HILL, Barbados – Members of the West Indies Women’s Team completed a two-week, skills training camp over the weekend at the Sagicor West Indies High Performance Centre here.
A squad of 13, including off-spinner Anisa Mohammed, left-handed batsman Kyshona Knight, wicketkeeper/batsman Natasha McLean and fast bowler Subrina Munroe were all part of the training sessions.
All four players felt the camp was timely, coming ahead of a busy schedule for the players in the next few months that include the Regional Women’s Super50 and a tri-nation home series against highly-regarded teams, England and New Zealand.
Mohammed said she thinks the camp was valuable due to the individual attention that each player was able to receive from the coaching staff.
“It was a very important camp for us,” she said. “It was just 13 of us and we each got plenty of individual attention and so we were able to work on stuff that needed to be worked on.
“My batting has improved a bit, so hopefully if it comes down to me in a game, I think I have the confidence to handle the situation and make some runs for the team – and my bowling has also improved a lot compared to last year and the year before.
“I have been struggling lately with my bowling, but this camp has really helped me a lot and I am really confident and hopefully I can take my 100th One-day International wicket during the upcoming tri-nation series.”
Mohammed said she was looking to build on the work she did during the next few months, as she prepares with her native Trinidad & Tobago to play in the Regional Women’s Super50 Tournament.
“I am really looking forward to it and to representing my country once a year,” she said. “The girls have been training very hard, they have been to South Africa, they have done some preparation so far, so it will be going back and working with them for the next two months.
“Then the Windies Women have England and New Zealand. We have a record of winning home series and it would be a plus for us to win our first tri-nation home series.”
McLean said the best was yet to come for her and the Windies Women, and felt the camp helped her to re-focus on working hard at her game.
“It was a good opportunity to get to work on the areas that I knew needed work and I have seen some improvement,” she said. “My batting will come along, but I have to continue working hard and look for success.
“I learnt a lot about being focussed and being patient among the many things I have learnt in this camp, so that when I reach into a game situation, I can execute and make big runs to help the Windies Women and my hometown Jamaica.”
McLean has just completed her first year with the Windies Women, having made her international debut in an ODI last April against Sri Lanka Women, and said the experience was eye-opening.
“It was a good experience because I attended my first ICC Women’s World Cup and gaining a lot of experience of life outside of the Caribbean,” she said.
“It was a good opportunity. I did not grasp it the way I wanted, but I will get another opportunity, and I plan to keep working hard, so that I can be successful for the team and me.”
The 18-year-old wicketkeeper/batsman added: “We are a young group of players. Fortunately, time is on our side, so we will get more experience and the team will get stronger for the next World Cup.
“Each time we play, we grow and we grow, and with opportunity and experience we will become more competitive.”
McLean said this year’s Women’s RS50 would be extra-special, since her native Jamaica would be defending the title.
She admitted however, she would have to perform much better than she did when Stafanie Taylor’s side also won the Women’s Caribbean Twenty20 last year on home soil.
“I am looking forward to this tournament to get some 50s and carrying up my average,” she said. “This training camp was a wonderful opportunity to work on my game, so that I can get some runs in the Women’s RS50.
“I took in all that I could from the coaches and so the Women’s RS50 would be a good occasion to put what I have learnt into practice.”
The 21-year-old Knight said she was grateful for the time spent honing some of the basic skills of the game.
“The coaches worked extremely hard with the girls over the last two weeks and I think we have gained some valuable knowledge,” she said.
“I’ve seen some improvements in my skills over the last two weeks. I’m trying to hit the ball a lot straighter and I am ‘timing’ the ball a lot better.”
Knight said her first season playing with the Windies Women was an “excellent” experience, but she wanted to improve her game to make greater contributions.
“I was a bit disappointed with some of my scores,” she said. “I got good starts against some of the top teams, but I did not cash in on them.
“But it has been a memorable period and I am working on getting better at the game so that I can become one of the top players in the World.
She said: “We have a lot of cricket coming up. I am hoping to get the opportunities that I want to play and take full advantage of them.
“I want to score a lot of runs in the Women’s RS50 and the tri-nation series later in the year to bring my average up and stay in the team as long as possible.”
Munroe said the focus at the camp about enhancing the basic skills of all the players that attended was beneficial for her.
“It was a great experience because we are looking to build a team of well-rounded players and the focus was just not on each player’s strength, but on the other parts of the game,” she said.
“Apart from the work on my bowling, I also had to work on my batting and my fielding, which I think would help to improve my all-round cricket.”
She said: “One of the things I learnt at this camp was that everyone had a contribution to make. No one knows when they will be called upon to make that match-winning performance.
“It’s not just about being good with the skill in which you excel, but you have to be able to be a rounded player to make that contribution.”
Munro said it was a privilege to be entrusted with the responsibility of being an opening bowler for the Windies Women.
“Knowing that the team depends on you to set the tone with the ball and being able to make the early breakthroughs is quite an honour,” she said.
“I’m looking forward to the remainder of the year, playing for Guyana in the Women’s RS50 and the tri-nation series later in the year.
“This camp was a great way to get me focussed again on what’s coming up, so I can hardly wait for the opportunity to put what I have learnt at this camp into practice – particularly my batting.”