Move over men’s cricket, the women’s game is here to stay. Return from work slightly early, park yourselves on the couch and assemble everything that you need on that table in front of the TV; mobile phone, alarm clock, pasta bowl, car keys et cetera. Hope you have the schedule to the Women’s World T20 in the form of a printout. If not, stick it to the wall now.
Amid sapping temperatures, flowing beaches, finally the nonchalance of the Caribbean is being charged by the anticipation of witnessing some hard-fought cricket among the very best names in the women’s game.
Can it get any bigger than the ICC Women’s World T20? But there remains a bigger question that can chew some brains.
In the land of Bob Marley, seeped in the big-hitting Caribbean culture of swashbuckle one wonders who is going to dominate the ICC Women’s World T20?
Pakistan have the experience of Sana Mir. The Proteas will hope van Niekerk stokes their fire. India have the power of Mandhana and Kaur while Australia and New Zealand have in Lannig, Perry, and Schutt and Kasperek, Tahuhu, and Bates a potent combination of flair and experience.
That said, a lot is at stake for Ireland, who haven’t been in the best of forms while Sri Lanka and Bangladesh have their task cut out: contain the storm that the more powerful teams can bring. Somewhere in midst of these varying fortunes, the Windies will focus on one mantra and one alone: how can they tackle the biggies to retain their World T20 title? And if so, what can the likes of Mathews, Dottin, among the most destructive members of the unit bring to the table?
Let’s look at some players who hold the edge for their respective teams in the ICC Women’s World T20.
Here’s a young 18-year-old who will have her task ready especially during crunch moments where India will want to restore some order to the ensuing chaos around them.
A fine striker of the cricket ball, Rodriguez’ game is built around rotating the strike well and converting solid starts into meaningful scores, an opportunity that she’d hope to receive with both hands given this is her maiden appearance in any format of the World Cup.
A young, 25-year-old developing all-round cricketer, this Southern Stars representative will bring a huge value to a team that often entrusts a lot of responsibility in its firebrand all-rounders, whether it’s a Perry or Vilani.
In fact, when she contributed with a match-winning innings on her New South Wales debut, it was clear that in Nicola Carey, Australia had found an attractive potential match-winner.
Her stints at the WBBL have given her supporters a lot to cheer about and her miserly bowling economy in T20s, supported by a match-winning effort of a three-for speak well for her talent. Can Nicola Carey make the most out of the World T20 2018?
A basketball player who excels in cricket, a fast bowler par excellence who hails from the land of Wasim Akram and Asmavia Iqbal- is the World T 20 2018 a platform set for bowlers like Baig to explore their inner greatness?
Pakistan have, for the longest time, been about the experience and charisma of Sana Mir. But for about a year or so, it’s also become a lair of a certain Diana Baig, the 23-year-old, who was included in the Pakistani squad for 2013 World Cup as a reserve player.
Her fast bowling defined by a disciplined line and length and ability to bring the ball trickily into the batswomen makes her a dangerous exponent. Her team will look up to her for some quick breakthroughs.
Dane van Niekerk
Among the finest all-rounders in the current pantheon of the women’s game, van Niekerk’s real talent lies in outperforming herself with both bat and the ball. How many times have one seen a bowler in this age of the sport picking a 4-for in ODIs without conceding a single run?
Each time it seems she’s in the thick of the things, picking up wickets, she comes out as a batswoman and outscores her opponents. Can Niekerk take her Proteas girls on a thrilling funfair at this ICC World T20 edition?
Arguably, the finest striker of the cricket ball and among the most complete cricketers of the current generation, Bates’ greatness stems from her ability to stay normal in abnormal times.
Half a year ago, she struck a mesmerizing ODI ton as along with newbie Amelia Kerr, she’d take White Ferns to a sensational 481 on the board, the highest-ever score powered in the sport, something not managed by the men’s teams to this day. With over 2800 T20 runs along with 19 fifties and 1 century, there’s hardly anything that Bates can’t do. Bowlers, watch out, this Kiwi can fly really high.
A couple of months ago, when Mathews fired her maiden ODI ton, it seemed finally an important floodgate of her cricketing career had been opened. She was part of the victorious World T20 2016 campaign, which the Windies women won with great camaraderie.
A Bajan girl who plays for the pride of West Indian cricket, giving her side flying starts in a format where its strengths are magnified is something right up Matthews’ alley. What can she do on her home turf?