WEST INDIES Women’s cricket team coach Courtney Walsh will place primary emphasis on improving the squad’s consistency and awareness at the month-long high performance camp which bowls off in Antigua on Sunday.
This camp is the second such programme in 2021 and serves as early preparation for the World Cup qualifiers in December. Walsh expressed pleasure with the first instalment and used the sessions to assess the players.
He was able to have a rough idea of what they needed to do, what they can do and the way they plan to go about achieving their set objectives.
Looking ahead to Sunday’s camp, Walsh is intent on advancing the team’s training, particularly in batting.
“We need more consistency even if you’re the sixth or seventh batter," Walsh said. "Not everybody is going to come off (bat well) all the time but we need to have four or five batters who are consistently producing.
“That’s one of the areas we will be focusing on, consistency, so that every player within the team has to be performing at a consistent level. It also has to be aware of the game situations. We have to combine both.
“Individual, team and game awareness will also be focused on in this camp. We’re going to be doing other stuff like improving the skill sets as well,” Walsh added.
Altogether, 30 players have been called up for the camp. Eight are uncapped players, including teenagers Zaida James from St Lucia and Jannillea Glasgow from St Vincent and the Grenadines. Both are medium pacers.
The other uncapped players are Rashada Williams, Caneisha Isaac, Shanika Bruce, Mandy Mangru and Rachel Vincent. Making a return to the camp is wicket-keeper/batter Kycia Knight.
Walsh intends to continue and expand on some of the drills started in the first camp.
“We want them to be technically sound to deliver. Everything is not going to happen in this camp in terms of getting the end product. It’s a work-in progress and we need to keep improving.”
Although conditions have not been ideal for training owing to the pandemic, Walsh admitted global restrictions and the inability to have proper practice matches may be an added challenge.
With less than seven months to go before the qualifiers, Walsh remains cautiously optimistic.
He concluded, “Not being able to play a lot more cricket I won’t say it would be enough time (to prepare). We have to understand the situation. If we were able to tour and play (matches), I’d have said yes but it’s a ticklish situation but understandable. We have to make the best of what we can.”