New West Indies women’s cricket coach Courtney Walsh is keen for competitive games before the ICC World Cup qualifiers in Sri Lanka.
Walsh is currently overseeing a training camp at Coolidge, Antigua with a group of 24 women. It is his first opportunity to work with the women since his appointment last October and he says his priority is getting his players tournament-ready.
“The qualifiers right now are the main item on the agenda,” he said at an online media interaction yesterday. “We have to go to the qualifiers ready and we need to do whatever we can under the conditions to ensure everyone is ready mentally, physically.
“We haven’t got a lot of time on our hands...but what I would like from this camp is to put things in place, hopefully we can get the regionals played and then try to get a tour before the qualifiers so we can have some cricket.” The head coach said he was hopeful of a camp on the subcontinent, Bangladesh being “a possibility.”
“We are hoping to have a tour before the qualifiers. Nothing is confirmed as yet but there are talks,” Walsh said. “Bangladesh have indicated that they are interested...We are very, very hopeful we can get a tour, preferably in the subcontinent because the qualifiers are going to be in Sri Lanka which would be ideal for us. Once we get confirmation of that, then we can fix our camp to suit...Going on to play competitive cricket, I view that as priority before the qualifiers.”
At present, though Walsh is focusing on getting his players fitter. “Everybody knows that the team’s fitness level has always been questionable,” Walsh said. “We’re putting measures in place to ensure there’s a certain level of consistency as far as fitness is concerned. So once you are fit and ready to play we can work on the skills after.”
And Walsh also gave an update on the recovery from a shoulder injury of all-rounder Deandra Dottin. “Deandra is getting there. She is close to regular fitness...I would like to have her fully fit for the qualifiers, bowling back to normal...In terms of her batting and fielding, she’s a lot better. She’s a hard worker and she’s eager to play which is very good,” Walsh reported.
The camp began on January 9 and will go until February 1.