Opportunity for one of the other girls to get a spot in team: Matthews on Dottin's retirement


Dubai, Aug 29 : West Indies skipper Hayley Matthews feels that the shock international retirement of big-hitting all-rounder Deandra Dottin during the Birmingham Commonwealth Games has created an opportunity for a younger player to stand up and get a spot in the side. Deandra announced her retirement from international cricket for West Indies while on national duty with Barbados during the women's T20 event at the Commonwealth Games 2022, where her side failed to enter medal matches. "It's quite difficult to start off as a captain and missing out on one of your best players. But at the same time, it'd give an opportunity to one of the other girls coming through the system, now being able to get a spot in the team," said Hayley in a new episode of ICC's 100% Cricket podcast. Hayley revealed that despite having conversations with Deandra on retirement, the timing of the announcement still surprised her. "Deandra and I had some conversations prior where she may have mentioned it. Maybe the timing of that exactly was a bit of a shock. But at the same time, I feel it was something that Deandra was ready for. I support her one hundred percent." Hayley went on to hail "game-changer" Deandra for her contribution to West Indies cricket. "I am so thankful to Deandra for everything she has done for West Indies cricket. A game-changer, not only for the West Indies but in the world for how she played and how she carried herself out on the field. The entire cricketing world is grateful to Deandra for what she has done." Asked about her leadership style and experience of captaining Barbados in the Commonwealth Games 2022, Hayley explained, "It was a really good experience. Firstly, the support I got from the team was amazing, which is a great thing especially early on in your captaincy days. I have definitely learned a lot during the Commonwealth Games." "I always encourage having as much fun. I'm obviously still taking it very seriously, but as West Indians, when we do go out there and enjoy it we play our best cricket. So I'd try to definitely encourage the girls going out on the field each and every time to enjoy themselves in what they are doing." West Indies reached the semifinals of the ICC Women's Cricket World Cup 2022 in New Zealand, losing to eventual champions Australia in the semi-final and playing a huge role in many thrilling matches in the tournament. With a Women's T20 World Cup happening next year in South Africa, Hayley believes West Indies can only improve if they continue playing a fearless brand of cricket. "When you look around the world and see the best teams in the world playing, they're really fearless. That's because they know that they definitely have all the support behind them. I just think that it's a case where as a West Indian team, we need to obviously go out there and play a fearless brand of cricket." Hayley signed off by admitting that although the team might have to face some defeats in building a fearless approach, it wouldn't be a deterrent for the team to remain committed to an aggressive game plan. "(We must) really back ourselves, really go hard and it might come down to a case where we end up losing some games. Maybe a bit worse than we want to but the thing about it is if we go out there and really give it our all, really play fearlessly, I feel it's going to be a case where it's also going to win us a lot more games as well." /IANS


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