At only 20 years of age she already commands a major place in the West Indies Women cricket team holding the rank of vice-captain, so it is a natural progression that Barbadian Hayley Matthews takes up the helm of her island’s team.
It was this week announced that she takes over the Barbados women’s captaincy from experienced fast bowler Shakera Selman to take on the five other regional jurisdictions in defence of the Regional Women’s Super50 title that begins next Thursday, March 14, and runs until April 04 in Guyana.
Defending champions Barbados won the 2018 competition under Selman’s leadership but the older pacer relinquished her leadership role in favour of the young star.
Matthews, an allrounder who opens the batting, first played for the West Indies at age 16, and in 2016 blasted 66 runs from 45 balls to lead the regional side to victory in the T20 World cup final in India.
“Even though I am young I’ve been around for a couple of years playing for West Indies. Being under captains like Merissa Aguilleira, Stafanie Taylor as well as Shakera Selman here in Barbados, I have learnt a lot from them,” Matthews told Barbados TODAY newspaper following her appointment.
“We have an excellent chance. We have several West Indian players on our team and a solid batting and bowling line-up. So, to go out there in Guyana and defend our title, I know it will be challenging, but once we play the cricket that we know we can, I think we can do the double.”
In her quest to retain the Super 50 title for her island, the talented right-hand batter will be supported by a cast that includes seasoned regional and national players, among who are world leading explosive all-rounder Deandra Dottin, fast bowler Shamilia Connell and the twins, Kycia and Kyshonna Knight.
Along with defence of their title, the Bajans will be seeking revenge in the T20 competition that will be played at the same time.
Last year they suffered an agonising lost to Jamaica in a play-off game as both teams finished with the rounds of competition with the same number of points.
The Bajans are being prepared by head coach, veteran Ezra Moseley; with former West Indies pacer Pedro Collins as assistant coach; Evril ‘Betty’ Lewis, manager; and Marita Marshall, physiotherapist.
Coach Moseley said, “with all the West Indian players in, we have a good chance of doing well in the tournament. Cricket is played on the day, we’ve had those seven people in the team before and did not win, but these players are now professionals and experienced.
“So, hopefully when we get to Guyana there would play at their best”.
The full squad is Hayley Matthews, Shakera Selman, Aaliyah Alleyne, Shanika Bruce, Shai Carrington, Shaunte Carrington, Shamilia Connell, Deandra Dottin, Rashida Goring, Kycia Knight, Kyshona Knight, Sherika Lopez, Danielle Small and Charlene Taitt.