LONDON (CMC) – West Indies Women stars Hayley Matthews and Anisa Mohammed have been named in the International Cricket Council's (ICC) One-Day International team-of-the-year for 2021.
They are a part of a unit which includes South Africans Lizelle Lee and Marizanne Kapp, and sees England's Heather Knight being chosen as captain.
Matthews, a stylish right-hander and steady off-spinner, scored 380 runs – including one hundred against Pakistan Women in Antigua – and snared 18 wickets at 22 runs apiece during the last year.
Mohammed, meanwhile, claimed 20 wickets to be the joint highest wicket-taker for 2021. She boasted an average of 18 and an economy rate of just over 3-½ runs per over.
“It's pretty exciting. Going into 2021 I would have set some pretty big goals for myself, so I was happy that I was able to go out there and have a good year,” said the 23-year-old Matthews who made her international debut as a teenager seven years ago.
“Looking at it from a team stand-point I guess it was good for us to see where we were at last year and looking back now on the growth we've had when it comes down to our bowling, batting, and fielding.
“It's been really good to see the progress and it's something myself and the team will be looking to build on in 2022.”
Mohammed, 34, is a veteran of the game, having already played 134 ODIs and 117 Twenty20 Internationals, and taken 171 wickets in the shorter format and 125 in the shortest.
And she admitted to being “shocked” by her success over the last year.
“I feel really excited and honoured to be named in the ICC Women's ODI Team of the Year…,” Mohammed said.
“I didn't play cricket for almost a year and a half because of the COVID-19 pandemic, so I just wanted to have fun after not playing for so long.
“I wanted to go out and do my best and help my team as best as I could, and I was actually shocked when I saw I got the most wickets.”
Cricket West Indies president, Ricky Skerritt, said the honour for the duo was a reflection of their commitment to the game and would serve as a motivation to the West Indies squad.
“Their selections speak testimony to their own outstanding individual attitudes towards improving their own game, but it also provides an important return to CWI on our refocused Women's programme,” he said.
“There is still much work to be done to grow and improve the women's game in our region, but this global achievement by Anisa and Hayley should provide inspiration to all of their colleagues, and to all stakeholders.”
West Indies Women are currently in South Africa for a four-day ODI series against the hosts bowling off January 28.