Goordial Stumped By ICC

Date Published: 
Orin Davidson

No one seemed capable of stopping Indomatie Goordial-John in United States women’s cricket from the time she showed up in New York earlier this year. That is, until she encountered the International Cricket Council (ICC) eligible rule.

At the inaugural United States national women’s championship recently, the classy all-rounder’s batting and bowling were a cut way above all the other players from the Eastern and Western conferences. But when Goordial-John started pinning her hopes on representing the United States at the ICC Americas Championship, she was stumped.

The inflexible two-year residency requirement scuppered Goordial-John’s intention of representing the “Stars and Stripes” in the United States’ debut participation in the competition. Unlike the men’s rules , the International Cricket Council (ICC) does not have an open category for players unable to meet the residency requirements, for the women.

As a result players like Goordial-John will be denied the chance to parade their skills and enhance the competition, set for the new Broward County stadium in Florida. And no series needs star quality to boost interest than the ICC Americas competition for women.

In addition to Goordial-John, three other top players failed to make the cut because of the rule, which will also weaken the US chances of winning. Lisa Matthew, Tamika Kowlessar, and Sana Razzaq were all denied representing their adopted country, although they all played for the Eastern Conference a few weeks back in Florida.

They will be resigned to follow the series off the field. And were it not for the intuition of the US team coordinators, Goordial-John would’ve suffered the same fate. But she was made the United States coach instead, giving her the opportunity to make a contribution from beyond the boundary.

At 23 years old, Indomatie has to be the youngest national team coach, not only in cricket, but in probably all of sport. But the appointment hardly compensates for scoring runs and taking wickets, which Goordial-John has developed a knack for almost every time she plays.

She is a product of the first ever women’s training program in her native Guyana and has already played in the women’s World Cup for the West Indies. Goordial-John was 19 years at the time when the competition was staged in South Africa in 2005. She also toured India, Pakistan and the Netherlands.

But it is the United States she wants to invest her cricketing future from now onwards. “It is here I want to play my cricket the rest of my career,” Goordial-John declared. “West Indies is a thing of the past. I want to move forward in America”.

Reports allege Bermuda was hoping she would play for them, which is not surprising, given her proven class which she demonstrated there while living in the Caribbean island last year. For personal reasons Goordial-John would not confirm or deny those reports.

For now she will have to be satisfied with coaching, with regard to international competitions. Her disappointment at not spearheading the United States lineup against the likes of Bermuda, Canada, Brazil, Argentina and a Trinidad and Tobago development squad next month is understandable.

I was really hoping to play, but the rule is the rule and nothing can be done now," the young played said. Coaching though, should not be problematic for the right hand opening batter and leg spinner as Goordial-John has already acquired Levels One and Two coaching certificates.

In the interim she intends to play in domestic New York competitions, even if it is for men’s teams. Presently she is eying the Tri-State squad, which plays mainly in junior competitions. She also hopes the just-concluded US national championship will kick-start more regular women’s tournaments.

In Florida she reunited with ex-West Indies teammates Doris Francis and Candacy Atkins. “I never thought I would ever play with players from that team again,” Goordial-John explained. But from May 17, she will be working with them, who are both in the US team, in a different capacity.

Hopefully the chemistry will work positively for the team, even if the coach will be one of the youngest members in the squad.