Windies girls feel the World Cup vibes
Mumbai, India – Shakera Selman arrived in India on Thursday with the other members of the West Indies Women’s team with a clear plan – to win the ICC Women’s World Cup.
The experienced fast bowler is fully prepared for her second ICC 50-over world event, having played four years ago in Australia. This is her fifth international tournament, having also played in the ICC World T20 Championships in England (2009), West Indies (2010) and Sri Lanka (2012).
The World Cup runs from January 31 to February 17 and the 23-year-old Selman said she is “massively excited” about the coming weeks. She added that the upcoming eight-team event is by far the biggest of her career since she made her international debut back in 2008.
“This is my second World Cup (50 overs). I played my first World Cup in Australia in 2009 and you can feel the vibes for this tournament. It feels much bigger than the tournament back then. We came a bit earlier than the other teams, we have been able to shake off the jetlag and we feel ready to play. Most of the other teams came in today and it’s starting to feel like the World Cup is here,” said Selman, who has played 43 One-Dayers and 34 Twenty20s.
West Indies had a full training session on Saturday under the guidance of Head Coach Sherwin Campbell and will be back in the nets again on Sunday at 1 pm. They will play their first unofficial warm-up match against Australia on Monday and will take on a Local XI the following day. The Windies will play in Group A alongside defending champions England, hosts India, and Sri Lanka. Group B will include Australia, New Zealand, Pakistan and South Africa.
“It is always an honour to be chosen to represent the region, especially in the sport that remains the most loved sport across the Caribbean. It is great to be an ambassador representing the people of the West Indies on the world stage. In this tournament we will play some televised matches which is a great advertisement for the game and to promote women in sports,” a self-confident Selman told WICB Media.
“This is a huge opportunity to represent the West Indies at the highest level in the sport we all love. The girls are more experienced than we were four years ago when we went to Australia, and there is real belief in the camp that we can win the tournament. We are far from home, but the pitches are similar to some of those back home so that could work in our favour.”
Selman is a final year student at the Cave Hill Campus of the University of the West Indies. She is a WICB-certified coach and is hoping to further her studies in Sports Management. She is also a past student of Combermere School, the alma mater of West Indies cricketing greats Sir Frank Worrell and Sir Wes Hall.
“Cricket is a very big part of life in India. I’ve met several Indians and everyone is into cricket. Everyone here loves the game and as players we are delighted to interact with the fans. For us to be part of this environment is just great. Women’s cricket needed something like this...World Cup in India has come along at the right time,” Selman said.
“I’ve been here once before and it was amazing to see how many people came out to watch us play. We have never played in front such big crowds and we expect the same kind of atmosphere and crowd support in the World Cup. This is like a dream for a cricketer and a great occasion for women’s cricket around the world.”