The 2022 edition of the Women’s World Cup is scheduled to begin on 4th March 2022. Being held in New Zealand for the third time, the marquee event in the women’s calendar will consist of 31 matches culminating in the finals on April 3rd at Christchurch.
There are a total of 8 teams participating in the tournament. Australia, England, South Africa, and India obtained direct entry to the tournament along with the host New Zealand. With the Qualifier for the tournament canceled mid-way last year, the final 3 spots were determined through the ODI rankings at the end of the league, which meant that Bangladesh, Pakistan and West Indies made the cut.
The 8 teams will be playing each other once in a round-robin format and the top four teams will advance to the knockouts.
After the last World Cup in England, West Indies played Sri Lanka at home, which they won comfortably. They also drew the series against South Africa at home. However, they lost to New Zealand, Pakistan and England while touring and to Australia at home which dashed their hopes of a direct entry in the World Cup. However, they still qualified automatically due to the cancellation of the Qualifiers due to the pandemic. After the end of the championship cycle, they lost to India at home before the pandemic struck. Not playing any international cricket for the year, they won the series against Pakistan as hosts and also the return series in Pakistan but they lost the series against South Africa at home.
Their record since the last World Cup has been as follows:
|Played||Won||Lost||Tied/No Result||Win %|
West Indies have announced an 18-member squad for the tournament:
Main Squad: Stafanie Taylor (captain), Anisa Mohammed (vice-captain), Aaliyah Alleyne, Shemaine Campbelle, Shamilia Connell, Deandra Dottin, Afy Fletcher, Cherry Ann Fraser, Chinelle Henry, Kycia Knight, Hayley Matthews, Chedean Nation, Karishma Ramharack, Shakera Selman, Rashada Williams
Reserve Player: Kaysia Schultz, Mandy Mangru, Jannillea Glasgow
- Good Mix of Youth & Experience:
The West Indian squad has a great blend of experienced and young players. Deandra Dottin is an experienced power-hitter. Stafanie Taylor, the experienced captain, will be expected to anchor the West Indian innings and support the bowling attack. Speaking of bowlers, they have Anisa Mohammed, who is a world class spinner and Shakera Selman, an experienced fast bowler. Shemaine Campbelle has also featured in 90 ODIs till date. The following table showcases their achievement in their illustrious career:
|Player||Matches||Runs||100s||Batting Average||Wickets||Bowling Average|
These players will be expected to lead from the front as they will be supported by fellow players like Kycia Knight, Hayley Matthews, Afy Fletcher and Chedean Nation who have all featured in excess of 50 ODIs. The rest of the squad are quite inexperienced who will be guided by these big names as they look to make a mark in their careers. 5 players of the squad – Aaliyah Alleyne, Cherry-Ann Fraser, Chinelle Henry, Karishma Ramharack and Rashada Williams – are expected to make their World Cup debut.
- Capable All-Rounders:
The squad also benefits from many big names who are capable all-rounders and have proven themselves over time. Stafanie Taylor, their captain, leads from the front, with 7 centuries to her name. Also having claimed as many as 148 wickets, she will be expected to be the backbone of both the batting and bowling attack. Deandra Dottin is a power-hitter who bowls regularly in ODIs for the team. With more than 1500 runs and 68 wickets to her name, Hayley Matthews also contributes with both bat and ball for the West Indies.
- Dependence on Key Players:
West Indies are highly dependent on key players like Stafanie Taylor, Deandra Dottin, Hayley Matthews and Anisa Mohammed. Apart from them, the rest of the squad lacks the ability to carry on their good work, which has led to their undoing on many occasions. Among the current batters in the squad, apart from the trio of Stafanie Taylor, Deandra Dottin and Hayley Matthews, the rest of the players, irrespective of their experience, average under 20, which is quite below-par. Apart from these 4 players mentioned, only Shakera Selman and Afy Fletcher have taken more than 50 wickets in ODIs. The next successful bowler in the squad is Shamilia Connell, the strike bowler, who has picked up only 35 wickets in as many as 49 ODIs at an average of over 40.
- Powerful Start at the Top:
An opportunity for West Indies is the start of their batting innings. They need to capitalize on the start. Deandra Dottin is known to smash the ball to all parts of the ground and is West Indies’ best hope in building a foundation while batting. She recently scored an unbeaten 150 against South Africa to prove her threat for the other teams. If she gets going, then players like Stafanie Taylor and Hayley Matthews can consolidate and help West Indies reach a good total.
- Spin-Friendly Tracks:
The West Indies cricket team has 2 quality spinners in their side, which can be a very important asset on used pitches, especially at the business end on the tournament which will be likely played on such tracks. Anisa Mohammed is one such spinner. An off-spinner, she has taken close to 300 wickets in her international career. With four World Cup tournaments under her belt, she is experienced and has her bag of tricks to unsettle the opposition. Afy Fletcher, the leg-spinner, adds variety to the attack. They are threatening wicket-taking bowlers, who can also dry up the runs in helpful conditions.
- Batting Failures:
West Indies must guard themselves against batting failures, which can happen at any stage of the tournament. They have Deandra Dottin, who will look to open the innings. She scored a century each in her last 2 series, including the unbeaten 150, to add to her half-century against Ireland but she does not provide the required starts consistently. Stafanie Taylor also has 2 centuries and 2 scores in excess of 40 since they resumed playing after the pandemic. If they fall cheaply, West Indies may not even be able to post the kind of targets that could be defended in countries like New Zealand.
The World Cup kicks off on March 4th with West Indies taking on hosts New Zealand in Mount Mounganui.