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Windies Women batter Campbelle eager to get cracking

BY SANJAY MYERS
Senior staff reporter
myerss@jamaicaobserver.com

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

SHEMAINE Campbelle says West Indies Women are anxious to get on the field against England in what is to be their first taste of competitive cricket since the novel coronavirus forced a halt in March.

“Obviously, for us it's a great feeling coming back to play women's international cricket. It's a really big task and we're just going to look forward to have some good cricket [against] England,” the middle order batter told journalists recently during a virtual media interaction from the team's base in Derby, England.

“Cricket is something we love in the Caribbean so coming back out on the field is always a good feeling for us. As a unit, we just want to go out and play and enjoy the sport,” said the 27-year-old cricketer.

England and West Indies are scheduled to contest five Twenty20 (T20) Internationals behind closed doors in a biosecure environment at Incora County Ground in Derby.

After the series opener next Monday the teams are set to clash on September 23, 26, 28 and 30.

The series will be the first bilateral fixture for West Indies Women since facing India in the Caribbean last November.

The 2016 champions, West Indies were dumped out of the 2020 T20 World Cup earlier this year in Australia at the preliminary stage. One of their two group-stage losses came against the English women.

Campbelle, who is also a wicketkeeper, noted that they picked up valuable knowledge from the tournament, which was eventually won by top-ranked Australia.

“For us it's just to go out and execute. We learnt a bit of a lesson [from the World Cup] so we just got to come back strong. We're well prepared mentally and physically, so we're just waiting for the challenge [versus England],” she said.

In July, the West Indies men's team lost 1-2 to hosts England in a three-Test series under similar biosecure arrangements aimed at minimising the risk of exposure to the novel coronavirus.

The Guyanese player expressed confidence that with the right application the women, guided by interim Head Coach Andre Coley, can surprise England on their own pitch.

“The key is to go out there and play hard cricket. In training so far everyone has been [doing well], so we just need to keep that momentum and take it into the games. And if we do that, we can come out victorious in this five-match series.

“The couple days we've been here we've seen some good progress in our batting. I know it's going to be a challenge…but it's just for us to go out and play hard and remain positive in everything that we do. We've just got to focus on our potential and our skills and preparation,” she told members of the media.

Campbelle, an energetic player at the batting crease, is one of the most senior members of the team, having featured in 102 T20 and 83 One-Day Internationals (ODIs). Though 45 is her top score in the T20 format, she has a best of 105 in ODI cricket.

She said she is aware a lot will lie on her shoulders if West Indies are to upset the apple cart.

“For me, as an experienced player in the team…I've just got to go and do what I'm accustomed to — lead from the front so the [young players] can follow from there. I know I'm capable of batting and doing well for the team, so it's a matter of going out and play[ing] the cricket that I know I can play,” Campbell said.

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.