BRISBANE, Australia – West Indies skipper Stafanie Taylor says her side needs to repeat the intensity of their title-winning campaign four years ago, in order to prevail at the Twenty20 World Cup starting later this month.
The Caribbean stunned multiple-time champions Australia in the final of the 2016 tournament in Kolkata to lift their first-ever world title.
“I have played a lot of games over the years but the memories of India 2016 stand out so much,” said Taylor.
“Looking back on it, I’m just hoping that we can replicate it again this year – both the feeling that we had as a team and the impact that individual players had on the tournament from start to finish.”
She added: “Four years ago was a perfect storm for us. We really wanted to win, and I think we left all we had on the field throughout the tournament, especially in the final against Australia.”
West Indies Women failed to get out of the group stage of the inaugural tournament in 2009 but were good enough to reach the semi-finals the following year at home before losing to New Zealand.
They were beaten by the Aussies in the semi-finals of the 2012 tournament in Sri Lanka, suffered the same fate two years later in Bangladesh, before achieving success in 2016.
“We had never made it beyond the semi-finals before, while they (Australia) were looking to win the title for the fourth successive time, so we knew it would be a really big challenge for us,” Taylor explained.
“But we went out there and did it for our country, creating memories that we won’t forget.”
She continued: “This time around, we just need to do that again, play our game and push until the last ball to see how far that can take us. Winning the title and bringing the trophy back to the West Indies would be a success for us.”
West Indies failed in the defence of their title at home in 2018 after losing to Australia in the semi-finals.
The Windies’ fortunes have taken a turn for the worse of recent, however, losing nine of their last 11 T20 Internationals while also failing to win a single game during that period.
They received a boost for the February 21 to March 8 tournament with the inclusion of world-rated all-rounder Deandra Dottin who has not played international cricket in a year due to injury and subsequent surgery.
Taylor believes Dottin’s return and that of the new-ball pair of Shamilia Connell and Shakera Selman – both of whom have recovered from injury – will improve the Windies’ performances.
“We have some exciting players on the team. Deandra Dottin is back after a long time out injured, and we have seen what she is capable of producing at previous T20 World Cups,” Taylor pointed out.
“She is a very important player with both bat and ball, she gives you all the options, and her experience is something we’ll be looking for.
“We also welcome back some other absent players. Shamilia Connell and Shakera Selman have both been sidelined with injuries.”
West Indies will do battle in Group B alongside the likes of England, Pakistan, South Africa and minnows Thailand, and Taylor said she expected the campaign to be a competitive one.
“These are the best teams in the world that are all set for an exciting competition,” she noted.
“It’s going to be a challenge, we as a team know that, but we need to make sure that we focus on ourselves and not what is going on around us. That will be the way for us to be successful over the next few weeks.”