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Matthews relishing chance to shine at Women’s World Cup

JOEL BAILEY Sunday, May 28 2017

WEST INDIES Women’s cricket team teenaged all-rounder Hayley Matthews is relishing the opportunity to make her name in the global 50-over format, during the forthcoming ICC Women’s World Cup in England and Wales.

The tournament is set to bowl off on June 24 and will run until July 23.

The 19-year-old Matthews, who is a top-order right-handed batter and an off-spinner, came to the fore during the West Indies Women’s successful campaign at the 2016 ICC Women’s T20 World Cup in India.

The Barbadian, who featured during the inaugural Courts Grand Slam Women’s T20 Tournament here in Trinidad (from May 14- 19), mentioned during a recent interview, “obviously you’ll try to go into the tournament with as much confidence as possible. I’m just hoping that we can go (to England and Wales) and perform as well as possible and get a win.

Asked about her form during the Courts T20 competition, the affable Matthews replied, “it wasn’t too bad. It’s obviously a good initiative to get the tournament down here started. I think that’s really good for West Indies Women cricket on a whole.

“Personally I guess I didn’t do too bad. I would have liked to take a few more wickets and score a few more runs but it was okay overall.” Matthews was part of the Barbados team who finished runners-up to Trinidad and Tobago at the 2017 Regional Women’s Super50 competition in St Vincent.

She pointed out, “Trinidad (and Tobago are) always one of the stronger teams. We expected it to be a hard (final) and, unfortunately for us, they came out on top. It (is) a good rivalry between both teams and I think that’s good and healthy for the cricket (regionally).” Looking at the period between now and the World Cup, Matthews noted, “it’s to keep training, working on my skills, working on my consistency, both in the batting and in the bowling departments.” Matthews was also an all-rounder, in the sporting context, as she took silver medals in javelin, at the 2013 and 2014 CARIFTA Games (Under-17 and Under-18 categories), and gold in the 2015 version (Under-18).

But she focuses strictly on cricket, having made her West Indies debut against New Zealand in 2014.

Admitting that this will be her first taste of competition at the Women’s World Cup (50-overs), she reflected on her experience in India last year.

“Going out and playing in a World Cup is big for everyone so nerves was there for me,” she acknowledged.

“It’s good to go into to this World Cup with some experience.” As far as the team’s preparations for the United Kingdom are concerned, Matthews said, “we’ve had a camp a couple of weeks ago in Antigua to get the bunch together and we’ll go into camp in Barbados and then off to England (on Wednesday) for another two-week camp. The preparations seem to be going pretty well so far.” Finally, how has her game improved during the past year? “Playing in the different regions, getting different types of pitches, different types of conditions all over, I guess it helped built my skills,” she responded.



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