“They are eager to learn, they are excited to play every day, the body language is always positive, and they are super proud to represent the West Indies”.
These words from Steve Liburd the Head Coach of the West Indies Rising Stars Under 19 Women’s team as he spoke of the great group of players under his tutelage.
Liburd has overseen programme since it started in the summer of 2022 and has seen significant growth of the players. Cricket West Indies has made a major investment in women’s cricket which has seen tremendous growth.
Last year saw the first ever West Indies Rising Stars Under 19 Women’s tournament in Trinidad and from there a team was chosen to tour the United States of America in Fort Lauderdale.
From there they held several camps at the Coolidge Cricket Ground at the headquarters of CWI. They then had a tour of India where they played against India “A”, India “B”, Sri Lanka and New Zealand in Vizag and Mumbai. Following this, they had the great opportunity participate in the inaugural ICC Women’s U19 T20 World Cup in South Africa.
The programme is bearing fruit as three members of the Rising Stars Under 19s squad made it to the international stage. Allrounders Djenba Joseph, Zaida James and Trishan Holder impressed with their agility and dynamism and made their international débuts for the Senior West Indies. They also had the honor of playing at ICC Women’s T20 World Cup in South Africa last month.
“We are seeing signs of growth and improvement in the programme. This is very pleasing as this is part of the pathway established by CWI. We have also seen a jump in the number of young women and girls across the region who have been participating in cricket, so we want to keep that level of interest on the game,” Liburd said.
“This year we will continue with the development of our players as we look towards the next events on the regional calendar and the international calendar. There are so many amazing opportunities in cricket for girls and women. Women’s sports is on the rise … young girls have female sporting icons to look up to. Our players are very enthusiastic and we want to keep encouraging them to raise the bar.”