Photo Credit: Cricket West Indies
There is great anticipation and expectation in both camps as the West Indies Men’s and Women’s team enter their next matches. Over in New Zealand, the #MaroonWarriors march into battle against South Africa Women in their seventh preliminary match of the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup. West indies are presently fourth in the points table with a record of three wins and three defeats. The match will be played at the historic Basin Reserve in Wellington. First ball on Wednesday is 6pm Eastern Caribbean/5pm Jamaica.
Back home in Grenada, the men’s team are preparing for the third and final Apex Test match against England. The series is locked 0-0 following draws in Antigua and Barbados and the final contest will be the ultimate decider. Both teams look to get their hands on the newly-minted Richards-Botham trophy – named in honour of icons Sir Vivian Richards and Lord Ian Botham. The Grenada National Stadium will be the centre of attention and first ball on Thursday is 10am Eastern Caribbean/9am Jamaica.
“It’s make or break… we have to win to give ourselves a chance of making the semi-finals. It’s a matter of us controlling what we can … doing well… and looking to come out on top,” said Anisa Mohammed the experienced spin bowler.
She is playing in a marquee tournament for a record fifth time, since her first outing as a teenager in South Africa back in 2005.
“This is my fifth World Cup and only once before we made it to the finals, that was in the 2013 edition (vs Australia in India). To be able to represent the West Indies in five World Cups in really special… some players don’t even get the opportunity to play in one World Cup. I’m happy I have been able to make it this far in women’s cricket and contribute to West Indies women’s cricket.”
West Indies women have been brilliant at stages in the tournament. They had sensational, nail-biting wins over New Zealand, England and Bangladesh, but fell against Australia, India and Pakistan. West Indies men have been resolute in both Apex Test matches against England and will enter the third contest beaming with confidence as they defend a proud record against the visitors on home soil.
In Grenada, skipper Kraigg Brathwaite has called on the fans in the Spice Isle and neighboring islands to come out and show their support for the home team. He has been an inspiration in the series with a monumental performance on home soil in Barbados – scores of 160 and 56 not out as he batted a marathon 16 hours and faced a whopping 673 balls.
“It all comes down to this last match here in Grenada and we are ready! We have worked very hard in the series so far and we want to end on a high. This is the decider, and we believe we have the quality in the team to win. From the start we said we would like to win the Richards-Botham trophy and celebrate with our fans, so here is the chance to do it,” Brathwaite said.
“It won’t be easy, England have also been playing some good cricket, so this promises to be a great finale. We want to urge the Grenadian fans to come out in their numbers and support us from start to finish, I played here few years ago, and got a hundred, so the ground has great memories for me. We hope to have some more great moments this week.”.
Cricket fans in the West Indies can follow live ball-by-ball commentary and analysis of both matches on ESPN Caribbean.