Stafanie Taylor has her eyes set on reaching the top

Bridgetown, Barbados: West Indies allrounder Stafanie Taylor is totally "mentally and physically" ready for the upcoming International Cricket Council's Women's Challenge Tournament in South Africa. The girls are presently in camp in Barbados under the guidance of coach Sherwin Campbell. Speaking after Monday training session, Taylor said she was "ready for all that is in store".

“I am really ready for this tournament. I have been looking forward to it for quite a while now and I have my eyes and my thoughts fully focussed on what is required,” said the Jamaica teenager.  “This is a tournament for the teams ranked from Number 5 down, and we are Number 5 in the world in ODIs, so we are the team the others will be gunning for.

“I honestly expect that as a team we will step-up in all areas. As a team, we can beat any team in world cricket.  We proved before we can beat England, and they are the Number 1 team in women’s cricket, so we know we have the capability to beat any opponent. We have been in Barbados for a few days now and we have been putting in the hard work. The coach has asked us to be ready so that when we reach South Africa we hit the ground running.”

Taylor, who made her international debut at age 17, has some impressive career numbers. She has scored 803 runs at an average of just under 35 in 26 ODIs and grabbed 30 wickets and 19.1 each. In 16 T20 Internationals she has made 540 runs at 45 per innings, with a strike rate of 118. She has also taken 14 wickets at 20 apiece. Now aged 19, she is ranked among the top players in world cricket. She is in the top 10 of the ICC listings for batting and allrounders. She is also on the shortlist for the Women’s Cricketer of the Year award at the upcoming ICC awards ceremony in India on October 6.

“I am on 803 runs and I need another 197 to get to 1000 career runs in ODIs and if I get there on this tour I believe I will be the youngest players to do so, so that’s a goal in the back of my mind. Overall I really want to be the Number 1 ranked batter in world cricket and I will keep striving to achieve that. I am still young and I believe in my ability. I know once I continue to work hard I can make it. I also want to see the West Indies team continue to make strides forward. I believe we can move up the overall rankings when we play against the Top 4 teams... we have the players to do it.”

On Tuesday, the Windies girls will have a warm-up match against the boys at the Barbados Defence Force Sports Programme. First ball is 10 am (9 am Jamaica Time).

SQUAD: Merissa Aguilleira (captain), Anisa Mohammed (vice captain), Pearl Etienne, Subrina Munroe, Stacy Ann King, Britney Cooper, , Shemaine Campbelle, Tremayne Smartt, Shanel Daley, Stafanie Taylor, Juliana Nero, Cordel Jack, Shakera Selman, Deandra Dottin.

FIXTURES
One-Day Internationals

October 6 – Pakistan v Ireland (NWU 1); West Indies v Netherlands (Witrand); South Africa v Sri Lanka (Senwes)
October 7 – Netherlands v Sri Lanka (NWU 1); Ireland v West Indies (NWU 2); Pakistan v South Africa (Witrand)
October 8 – Rest/Reserve Day
October 9 – West Indies v Sri Lanka (NWU 1); Netherlands v Pakistan (NWU 2); Ireland v South Africa (Witrand)
October 10 – South Africa v West Indies (NWU 1); Sri Lanka v Pakistan (NWU 2); Ireland v Netherlands (Senwes)
October 11 – Rest/Reserve Day
October 12 – South Africa v Netherlands (NWU 2); Sri Lanka v Ireland (Witrand); West Indies v Pakistan (Senwes)

T20 Internationals
T20 Group A: West Indies (fifth), South Africa (seventh), Netherlands (tenth)
T20 Group B: Pakistan (sixth), Sri Lanka (eighth), Ireland (ninth)

October 14 – West Indies v South Africa (NWU 1); Pakistan v Sri Lanka (NWU 2)
October 14 – South Africa v Netherlands (NWU 1); Sri Lanka v Ireland (NWU 2)
October 15 – Rest/Reserve Day
October 16 – Netherlands v West Indies (NWU 1); Ireland v Pakistan (NWU 2)
October 16 – A1 v B1 (NWU 1); A2 v B2 (NWU 2); A3 v B3 (Witrand)