Photo Credit: Cricket West Indies
- Matthews says while conversations were had, the timing of Dottin’s retirement from international cricket came as a shock
- She shares what fans can expect from Hayley Matthews, captain of the West Indies team
Hayley Matthews is the featured guest of this month’s ICC 100% Cricket Podcast, which went live on the ICC’s platforms today.
The newly appointed West Indies captain discussed a variety of topics in her conversation with broadcaster, Isa Guha and New Zealand off-spinner, Frankie Mackay, including the surprising timing of teammate, Deandra Dottin’s retirement during the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham last month.
“Deandra and I had some conversations prior where she may have mentioned it (retirement), maybe the timing of that exactly was a bit of a shock,” she said in response to a question from Mackay.
Matthews expressed her support for her now former teammate, saying: “At the same time I definitely felt like, if it was something that Deandra was ready for, I support her a hundred percent. We’re so thankful for everything that Deandra has done for West Indies cricket. She’s been a game changer, not only for West Indies, but in the world with how she played and how she carried herself on the field.”
Her support did not make Dottin’s loss an easy one for Matthews and the West Indies team, however. The twenty-five-year-old skipper confessed that she understands the dilemma that more and more players are facing when trying to balance national team duties with the lucrative opportunities that the T20 leagues have provided.
“Obviously when you’re coming up against stuff like the Big Bash, The Hundred, who are paying very well and giving ladies lots of opportunities, it can get quite hard for a lot of players to want to stay playing professional cricket when the resources aren’t as much where they’re from,” Matthews explained. “So, I think the first thing for Cricket West Indies is to get our domestic structure running a bit better. I have no doubt that they are looking to do that kind of stuff, obviously with the CPL coming up this year, the 6ixty tournament, those are really good initiatives to get the girls going and to get women’s cricket in the West Indies growing a bit more, which is really good to see.”
Matthews also described the pride she felt when she represented her home country of Barbados in the recently concluded Commonwealth Games and why the Games, to her, were such a significant step forward for women’s cricket.
“It was amazing,” she enthused. “Going as the Barbados team was quite different. That first game against Pakistan was brilliant for us. It definitely meant a lot to us and I know to the whole of Barbados as well, the entire region in the West Indies, representing everyone back there as well.
“Every time we go out there for West Indies, there’s a lot of pride and passion, but there’s definitely that extra ‘oomph’ to it on a stage like that. It would have been our first international game as a Barbadian team, given full T20 status for those games, it meant a lot, for sure.
“When we speak about women’s cricket and its growth, something like the Commonwealth Games is such a big thing, being able to show women’s cricket in another light, putting it on another stage and in front of a whole new fanbase as well, hopefully it will attract a lot more fans and a lot more people to the game and hopefully spreads on to getting women’s cricket in the Olympics as well.”
Matthews was recently appointed as the new West Indies women’s captain but began her captaincy journey by leading Team Barbados at the Commonwealth Games. In the podcast, she takes listeners through her leadership style and shares what fans can look forward to from their new captain.
“As a captain, I kinda always try to encourage having as much fun as possible, I’m obviously still taking it very seriously, but I think as West Indians, when we do go out there and we enjoy ourselves, that’s when we play our best cricket.”
Fans who tune into the podcast will hear Matthews reveal what tattoo some of the Barbadian players got at the conclusion of the Commonwealth Games. She also gives her thoughts on the importance of cultivating team environments that are conducive to supporting the mental health of their players and providing assistance when it is needed. The skipper shares how she managed to continue playing cricket when she was at the brink of taking a break last year and finally, she discusses the brand of cricket that she would like to see the West Indian team return to playing.
Episode 2 of the 100% Cricket Podcast featuring Hayley Matthews is available on podcast platforms worldwide and here.
Episode 1 featuring Mithali Raj is available here.