ST JOHN’S, Antigua — Anisa Mohammed, Vice-Captain of the West Indies Women’s team, has opted out of an otherwise full strength 18-member squad announced last week for the biosecure five-match Twenty20 (T20) International tour of England starting later this month Regular Captain
Stafanie Taylor will lead the side which includes Hayley Matthews, Deandra Dottin and Shemaine Campbelle.
A Cricket West Indies (CWI) statement said Mohammed, an off-spinner who has played 100 matches in limited overs formats, had “declined the invitation to travel to England”.
“All players were given the option to decline selection for any COVID-19 related concern. CWI fully respects her decision to choose to do so,” CWI said.
The tour marks the first international women’s series since the COVID-19 pandemic forced the halt of all cricket globally last March, and follows on the heels of the West Indies men’s three-Test rubber in England last month.
Like that series, the women’s one will be played against the backdrop of the pandemic, which has been particularly devastating in the United Kingdom with 329,000 confirmed cases and already over 41,000 deaths.
CWI’s director of cricket, Jimmy Adams, said the tour represented a great opportunity for the regional side, especially following a long period of inactivity.
“CWI is pleased to be restarting its international women’s programme with a tour to England, where the standard of women’s cricket has grown tremendously,” Adams said.
“We thank the ECB (England and Wales Cricket Board) for their invitation and the added opportunity to travel with a larger squad affords us the chance to introduce a few younger players to this level of the game, and fast track their development.
“With so much uncertainty surrounding cricket scheduling currently, this is a timely opportunity for our women to resume competitive cricket at the highest level.”
The squad includes two uncapped players in Kaysia Schultz, a 23-year-old left-arm spinner who bats right-handed, along with 21-year-old Guyanese counterpart Cherry-Ann Fraser who was part of the squad for this year’s T20 World Cup in Australia but failed to play a game.
Chief selector Ann Browne-John said the expanded squad allowed for greater development of players.
“The larger 18-member squad also gives an opportunity to have young developing players involved, like the two players from Guyana – left-arm bowler Kaysia Shultz and all-rounder Shabika Gajnabi,” said Browne-John.
“It also gives the opportunity to the young Trinidadian off-spinner Karishma Ramharack to get some international experience.”
Gajnabi has played 10 matches since making her debut last year while Ramharack has featured in eight, following her debut also last year.
West Indies Women will be placed in a biosecure bubble on arrival and will play all five matches at the Incora County Ground in Derby from September 21-30.
SQUAD – Stafanie Taylor, Afy Fletcher, Hayley Matthews, Aaliyah Alleyne, Cherry Ann Fraser, Natasha Mclean, Shemaine Campbelle, Shabika Gajnabi, Chedean Nation, Britney Cooper, Sheneta Grimmond, Karishma Ramharack, Shamilia Connell, Chinelle Henry, Kaysia Schultz, Deandra Dottin, Lee Ann Kirby, Shakera Selman.