The Fairbreak Global Invitational Tournament is heading towards its business end, and it has been incredible to see the kind of attention it has garnered over the last 10 days. Six teams, 90 players, 35 countries, 19 matches, and one city sum up this exciting tournament. To get more insights about this exciting competition and how the players have prepared for it, Female Cricket got in touch with Stafanie Taylor, the skipper of one of the teams, Tornadoes.
The prolific West Indian all-rounder set her foot in Dubai on April 30 to feature in the Fairbreak tournament that kick-started on May 4. The skipper of Tornadoes said, “Before landing in Dubai, I knew three to four players. But the rest of them I have known after coming here. We got together as a team and have gelled well. The group is amazing, and our preparations before the tournament were spot on too.”
Captaincy is not new to Taylor, who has been the leader of West Indies since 2012. When asked how different leading Tornadoes from the West Indies, she answered, “Leading Tornadoes is a bit more relaxed than leading West Indies. When you are playing for your country, there is always some pressure on you, and it also gets intense sometimes. On the other hand, in Tornadoes, we have a few players like Sophie Devine, Sune Luus, Winifred Duraisingam, and Mary-Anne Musonda, who have been captains themselves. So I can always reach out to them if I need any help. Managing my role as a player and captain is something that I want to master.”
Taylor’s Tornadoes is 15 members strong and boasts of star players like Devine, Luus, Diana Baig, and Sterre Kalis, to name a few. The West Indian averred, “It is exciting to play alongside Sophie Devine. We played together in the same team for Adelaide Strikers in the WBBL, but that was just for one season. Besides, playing against somebody like Suzie Bates is always fun. She is a competitive cricketer.”
Having played international cricket since 2008, Taylor has gone through the ebbs and flows of the game beautifully well in her illustrious career. Reflecting on her journey so far, she elucidated,
“There have been some good days and some bad days. However, a mix of highs and lows is what shapes you as a player. Whenever I go through a rough patch, I remind myself about the type of player and the type of person I am, which helps me weather the storm.”
Before signing off, Taylor shared a message for the young girls just starting to play cricket. She stated, “When I started playing cricket in my primary school, not many girls played the sport. In some places, girls were not allowed to play as well. I experienced one such incident when I was not permitted to play cricket, but my coach, who saw my talent and dedication, backed me to play the game. It is important for you to believe in yourself and have the ‘never say die’ attitude.”
I am a former cricketer having represented Mumbai University at All India University level. I was a part of MCA probables for the U-19 and U-23 age group. I have been an avid cricket writer for the last five years. Currently I am pursuing my Ph.D from IIT Bombay.