Walsh eyeing int'l competition in buildup to ICC QualifierSaturday, May 01, 2021
ST JOHN'S, Antigua (CMC) — West Indies Women are desperately hoping to secure an international tour in order to gain valuable match practice, before they travel to Sri Lanka in December for the crucial ICC World Cup qualifier.
Though the Caribbean side toured England last September for five Twenty20 Internationals, they are without a single 50-over series since November, 2019, largely due to the COVID-19 pandemic which wiped out nearly all of their fixtures.
Head coach Courtney Walsh said international competition would complement the preparation undertaken at last January's training camp and the second one which gets underway here Sunday.
“We are still hopeful of having a tour before the Qualifier, either someone coming to the Caribbean or we going to another country, but we are not sure what's happening yet,” the West Indies legend told reporters.
“As soon as CWI can confirm, we can firm up more plans because nothing beats time in the middle.
“In the interim, we are planning to have more game scenarios and more practice matches than we did at the last camp, which was a lot more net training.”
He continued: “Unfortunately, that is the best we can do. We are still hopeful that before the Qualifier, we can also get the [domestic Women's Championship] played, so we have a chance to see other players as well because we need to widen the pool.”
West Indies Women had been scheduled to lock horns with South Africa Women last year in a five-match ODI series but the tour of the Caribbean was scrapped due to the pandemic.
The Women's Super50 Cup, the 50-overs domestic tournament, was also abandoned along with the inaugural Under-19 girls Championship.
“Not being able to play competitive matches, it is hard to say if we have enough time to do everything we want. I have to understand the situation and work with it the best way that I can,” Walsh added.
“In an ideal world, if we were able to tour and play as much matches as we could and get the (Women's Super50) out of the way, I would say, yes, but it is a ticklish situation.
“It is something that is understandable, and we have to make the best of what we can and try to get in as much as we can.”
He added: “Once the players are out there playing, I would much prefer that because you have a better chance of judging, assessing, seeing who is in form, seeing who is improving or not.
“So that's the biggest challenge … not seeing them on the international stage to use that to build up their confidence and to judge how they are performing.”
The last training camp was staged last January but players have since been hampered in the amount of training which could be done in their respective territories, due to coronavirus restrictions which barred outdoor training.
Walsh said players had still managed to maintain a level of fitness, however, which could now be further enhanced by the camp.
“All in all, a lot of work was done behind the scenes on the fitness levels of all the players and they had drills to do, and the local coaches and the local territorial boards have been very helpful with getting some of that work done,” Walsh noted.
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