I wrote on
Cricinfo last week about how pleasing it was for the game that
West Indies beat England in the first ODI at St Kitts, as I hoped this could
be the start of something big.
Now I’m really excited. West Indies won both the One-Day and Twenty20 series and so enjoyed some hugely deserved celebrations.
It’s not that England were bad – 27 wides in the deciding ODI notwithstanding – nor even that they missed Sarah and Claire Taylor (though their absence undoubtedly had some bearing on the series results).
Simply, West Indies at last fulfilled their giant-killing promise in some style. “They outplayed us,” a typically candid Mark Lane acknowledged.
And in so doing West Indies anointed themselves powerhouses in their own right, which is a very welcome sign for the game at large.
Cordel Jack blossomed on the world stage with some matchwinning batting displays, and she proved something of an unexpected package, while Stafanie Taylor’s unsurprising efforts propelled her into the ICC World Top Ten batsmen.
What’s also excellent is that West Indies are shining ahead of the World Twenty20 which they are hosting. Hopefully this will translate into extra home support as the women fight to keep themselves part of the tournament alongside the men.
Having already stayed the course in impressive fashion the first time around with the World Twenty20 in England this year, the women still have another round of hurdles to jump in March.
On the current evidence, it promises to be an even better tournament as the field has been blown wide open by this series, and by South Africa beating West Indies in their recent ODIs.
While last time’s World Twenty20 was full of predictable matches, already it seems the March tournament is likely to have more surprises in store. Although any West Indies success will now amaze nobody.
Nov 12 2009
Stafanie Taylor who joins the ICC's Top 10