KINGSTON, Jamaica (CMC) – The West Indies Cricket Board believes the staging of the Regional Women’s Twenty20 Championship starting here next week will be crucial in the West Indies’ buildup to the World Twenty20 in Sri Lanka in September.
Eight teams will contest the August 8 to 18 tournament which will be played across three venues – Kensington Park, Chedwin Park and Sabina Park.
Josina Luke, the WICB’s project officer for women’s cricket, said the staging of the tournament a month before the World T20 was significant in terms of upcoming fixtures for the women’s side.
“The West Indies Women’s team will be going off to England for five T20 matches in early September and this will be followed by the ICC Women’s World T20 in Sri Lanka,” she said.
“So this tournament is timely and will provide our players with valuable match practice. It should help to sharpen their skills and help them better understand the ebbs and flows of this format.”
She added: “It was for this reason that the directors of the WICB had agreed with the policy shift about the staging of regional women’s tournaments to coincide with the format for the women’s World tournament taking place in that year.
“We urge the fans of the game to attend the regional matches, see our talented women’s players, and see how competitive they have become in recent times.”
The Regional women’s T20 will comprise seven rounds of preliminary matches leading into a full slate of playoffs for positions from the title match to eighth place.
Reigning champions Jamaica will be joined by Barbados, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines and Trinidad and Tobago.
Luke pointed out that the tournament had been made all the more attractive because of the success of the Windies women in international T20s.
“The West Indies Women’s team has done extremely well in this format of the game,” she explained.
“They reached the semi-finals of ICC WWT20 when the previous tournament was staged here in the Caribbean, and were last rated at number four in the Women’s T20 World Rankings.
“A number of the recent West Indies Women’s players have been chosen by their national sides to play in this tournament, so this will also provide some of the intrigue.
She continued: “Jamaica is also hosting a major women’s cricket event for the first time and many of the players are looking forward to this new experience.”