Candacy Atkins, captain of the 2009 USA National Women Tournament champions North East Region, member of the triumphant USA 2010 ICC Americas Women’s Cricket World Cup qualifying XI, and now a major part of the unbeatable Tri-State Lynx team, lies tucked away in the Bloomington suburb of Connecticut. However, that’s as far as her being tucked away goes.

Candacy Atkins an aggressive and explosive batswoman. Photo by Shiek Mohamed

An explosive batswoman who is as sweet to watch as sucking on a delightful piece of candy (pun intended), she bats with the concentration of bullfighter, leaving nothing to chance while staying focused on the ball, she can also create havoc with the ball in match-winning situations.

Atkins has represented the West Indies on the international stage and more recently her adopted home – the USA, and is no doubt looking forward to being a part of Team USA at the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup Qualifier in Bangladesh, this November. in an exclusive interview with all-rounder Candacy Atkins, asked her…

Why the interest in women’s cricket?
I simply love the game.

How long have you been playing the sport?
I started playing cricket at the age of 13.

What’s your favorite role in the sport? Batswoman or bowler?
I am a batswoman first, who also likes to bowl.

Are you the only one in your family who plays cricket?

Do you feel that women’s cricket will really take hold in the USA, and if so, why?
No, unfortunately I don’t think so at this time. A lot of people still don’t know that the US plays cricket. However, with proper marketing and exposure, that will no doubt change.

What is the single most important thing needed at this time to get young girls as excited about the sport as young boys?
Well, it should start within the schools, where you can showcase the (skills) of cricket and they will see how much fun it is to play.

Do you think the sport should be introduced as a co-ed sport in American schools, or be kept strictly along gender lines, boys playing separately from girls?
Yes. For the enjoyment of the sport young boys and girls should practice together.  However, if the sport is to expand to the whole of the USA, then separate competitive programs within the schools can only help the sport to grow.

Where do you see women’s cricket in the next ten years in the USA?

Going down, if we can’t catch it now, then there will be nothing left.

What role, if not as an active cricketer, do you see yourself playing in the sport in the next 5-10 years?
I have not given it much thought. It may be somewhat difficult remaining active in any significant way, if raising a family is part of the equation.

What advice would you give a young girl interested in learning the sport?

It’s fun but it comes with a lot of hard work and dedication.

What single piece of advice would you give cricket USA cricket administrators regarding the development of women’s cricket here in the USA?
We have to start from somewhere preschool, middle school, collage, sport clubs, but most important the need to get involved with the youth in our communities.