Guyana Girl Ready For One-Day Series
At a time when Guyana qualification for the Champions League in South Africa has ignited a cricket fever in Guyana, this country’s women’s cricket team is confident of winning Guyana’s first ever Female cricket title in this year’s Regional Women’s 50-over competition in St Vincent from August 12-18.
Led by 17-year-old West Indies Female player Shemaine Campbelle, the Guyana side, which will open their campaign against Trinidad and Tobago, will end their 2-week encampment on Friday and the team is hoping for a practice match before they leave.
Manager of the team Ava Baker yesterday told Kaieteur Sport that team spirit and the level of discipline are very high and said the girls are all eager to get into action.
“Under the circumstances (rainy season) I am satisfied with preparations even though we would have liked a few practice matches. The indoor facility at LBI where we are staying has been of tremendous help and we have no injuries in the camp,” Baker, who performed the duties of Coach when Guyana re-entered regional female cricket in the 2000 tournament in St Vincent, disclosed.
Skipper Campbelle, who turns 18 on October 14, represented the West Indies last year in South Africa and England and played a versatile role as wicketkeeper, batter and leg-spinner during this year’s 20/20 World Cup as the West Indies reached the semi-finals in St Lucia.
She feels that her West Indies experience and that of fellow Berbician Tremayne Smartt, who was also a member of the regional 20/20 squad, will be of value to the Guyana team which finished 5th in last year’s competition.
“I think we have a better team than last year and despite the rain our preparation is going well,” Campbell, who made her senior Guyana debut in St Lucia two years ago before playing her first youth game for her country last year when Guyana lost to Jamaica in the final, also in St Lucia.
“We have a very experienced team since only two of the girls have not played for Guyana before and I would say our strength is our all-round cricket. From the way things are going here I am confident that once everyone plays to their best in St Vincent we could win this thing,” Campbelle said.
Shinead Emerson and Melanie Henry are the only players in the 14-member squad without national experience and the squad includes three players (Campbelle, Smartt and Erva Giddings) who have played for the West Indies Women’s team. Wicketkeeper Tracy was a member of the West Indies Women’s training squad for a camp in Barbados two years ago.
Guyana are grouped in Zone ‘B’ with T&T, hosts St Vincent and Grenada while Barbados, Jamaica, Dominica and St Lucia comprise Zone ‘B’. The top two teams from each zone will contest the semi-finals and Campbelle, who plays for Rose Hall Town Metro Women’s in Berbice, says that right now Guyana’s focus is on winning 5 matches.
USA-qualified fitness trainer Kezqweyah Yisrael is working with the ladies and said that the team’s fitness level is much higher than it was when the camp began.
“Everyone has improved since we started but I think if the girls were exposed to weights training before they would have been in an even better shape by now. You see weights (strength) training helps with agility training since when you are stronger you are better equipped to improve in agility sessions,” the trainer explained.
Most of the training sessions are done at the Cliff Anderson Sports Hall in the mornings while swimming and Yoga sessions have also been held for the players who practiced at the Guyana National Stadium yesterday.