Windies pacer Connell believes team can give England Women a run for their money


Windies pacer Connell believes team can give England Women a run for their money

Senior staff reporter

Friday, September 18, 2020

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WEST INDIES Women pacer Shamilia Connell believes her team is capable of putting up a “big fight” against hosts England in their historic Twenty20 (T20) series which begins Monday.

Due to the novel coronavirus pandemic, most nations throughout the Caribbean have halted sports training and events since March. However, she suggested that since arriving in England on August 31, West Indies players have enjoyed the quality practice sessions which gives them cautious optimism.

“Everybody has been doing individual work. Not quite all of the girls have been getting a full run out back in the Caribbean. But we have been here in England for a couple of weeks and the girls have been fine-tuning and stuff like that, so I guess we'll be able to put up a big fight,” Connell, 28, said earlier this week during a virtual media interaction.

Windies Women and England are booked for five T20 matches, all to be hosted at Derbyshire's Incora County Ground. After Monday's tour opener, the other contests are scheduled for September 23, 26, 28 and 30.

The series is to be the first bilateral fixture for West Indies since they faced India in the Caribbean last November. And it will be the first staging of international women's cricket since March.

The last time the teams met was at the group stage of the T20 World Cup in Australia, earlier this year. England won the encounter, and went on to the semi-finals, while West Indies failed to progress.

West Indies, the 2016 world T20 champions, are ranked sixth in the format. England, who lifted the global T20 title in 2009, are rated second, only behind five-time winners Australia.

Connell, while noting a good mix of talent in the current squad, said West Indies are primed to put the World Cup failure behind them.

“It was a very disappointing World Cup [as well as] that game against England. We haven't had a successful series against them over the past few years. We are confident, we have been putting in the work, the girls have been working hard and I believe we will give them a good fight in this series,” the imposing bowler, who has grabbed 23 wickets in 41 T20 Internationals, said.

“It's a good opportunity to go out there and at least try to do our best and be victorious. We have some youth that brings a mix to the team. We also have some good, experienced players here and I believe that [combination] could get the job done,” the Barbadian told journalists.

Working in tandem with pace bowling partner and compatriot Shakera Selman, Connell is hoping to break new ground.

“I want to be the leading wicket taker. I haven't always had [good] series, especially against England, so this is my chance to actually make my mark.

“It [the partnership with Selman] has been very good. Shakera has a lot of experience in the game — she thinks about it a lot so we have a lot of discussions. She pushes me, so yeah, she's a good role model,” Connell explained.

Squad — Stafanie Taylor, Deandra Dottin, Shemaine Campbelle, Afy Fletcher, Hayley Matthews, Shamilia Connell, Britney Cooper, Chedean Nation, Natasha McLean, Chinelle Henry, Aaliyah Alleyne, LeeAnn Kirby, Sheneta Grimmond, Karishma Ramharack, Shabika Gajnabi, Cherry-Ann Fraser, Kaysia Schultz.

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