Windies star Matthews urges more domestic cricket


Windies star Matthews urges more domestic cricket

Saturday, May 02, 2020

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BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (CMC) — Marquee stroke-maker Hayley Matthews has urged authorities to increase the number of regional tournaments in order to accelerate the development of the women's game.

“I think we need more regional cricket —over the past couple of years we haven't had much,” said the 22-year-old.

“When we do have our regional cricket each year, it's usually two, three weeks of a tournament. We try to squeeze a 50-over tournament and a T20 tournament within that [period] and obviously that's not adequate enough for us to be growing as cricketers.”

Cricket West Indies (CWI) stages the Super50 Cup and the T20 Blaze as the premier women's domestic tournaments yearly, with both tournaments played during the same period.

Last year, six teams —Barbados, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, Leeward Islands, Windward Islands and hosts Guyana—contested five rounds in each format.

Matthews oversaw Barbados' successful Super50 title defence, the powerhouses winning all their matches in a superb unbeaten run.

This year, the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic forced CWI to postpone the Super50 Cup and the inaugural Under-19 Women's tournament.

Matthews, a member of the title-winning West Indies T20 World Cup side four years ago, said the absence of more tournaments meant limited opportunities for players.

“It means there is no system for a lot of the younger girls to come through really if we're not playing enough cricket against each other,” said Matthews, who has played 43 One-Day Internationals and 50 T20 Internationals since making her debut as a 16-year-old.

“I think that's probably one area I think we can improve in in order to see some growth within the region.”

Matthews is one of a handful of West Indies players who has gained previous international experience by plying her trade in the professional T20 leagues in the United Kingdom and Australia.

And while she conceded that facilities in those countries were understandably better than the ones in the Caribbean, Matthews said it was important regional players made the most of what was at their disposal.

“I think going to a place like Australia and England, a lot bigger countries [than the ones in the Caribbean], it's kind of obvious that the facilities down there would be superior to ours,” she pointed out.

“At the same time it's just a case of putting in the work in the facilities that you have.

“Obviously Australia is going to have hundreds of cricket ground in one state while we have four or five good ones in a country so at the same time it's about managing the resources that you have around you and being able to work with them too.”

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