Stafanie Taylor: “We have to move on from here, not just enjoy, look at it [as a] stepping stone” © Getty Images/ICC
West Indies Women captain Stafanie Taylor has said her team cannot quite believe it that they are the new World T20 winners, after they beat three-time champions Australia Women by eight wickets in the final in Kolkata. West Indies chased down a stiff target of 149 in the last over, but the pursuit was made easier by an opening stand of 120 between Taylor and Hayley Matthews.
“I don’t think it has sunk in yet,” Taylor said. “When we wake up in the morning it’s going to be like ‘is it real trophy?’ I will ask myself, ‘is this real?’ When we touch down at the Caribbean that’s when it’s going to hit you. [There will be] a lot of people with cameras you will realise that you have won the World Cup.”
Taylor did not just revel in the celebrations of West Indies’ maiden World T20 title, but also expressed that the victory could act as a stepping stone for women’s cricket in the Caribbean islands. She called for the authorities to develop infrastructure so that the women’s game would develop there.
“We have to move on from here, not just enjoy, look at it [as a] stepping stone,” Taylor said. “We don’t want to [be] stuck here. We definitely need some infrastructure like in Australia and England. We need young guys coming up.
“When these core players go, it will deteriorate. We need to start building. We need consistency to compete [against] teams like England and Australia.”
Taylor scored 59 off 57, her 18th T20I fifty, in West Indies’ chase and ended the tournament as the highest run-scorer with a tally of 246 and an average of 41. She is also the second-highest run-scorer in women’s T20Is with 2208 runs, behind Charlotte Edwards’ total of 2605 runs. Taylor said her team did not think much about the total they were after, and instead focused on batting through the innings.
“It’s funny, we never discussed the total,” she said. “We just wanted to bat through, it was good to keep wickets in hand. We could do that, stay there and bat through.”
The chase was set up aggressively by 18-year-old Matthews, who had gone past the score of 20 only once in the tournament, but shone in the final by hammering 66 off 45 balls with six fours and three sixes, to be named the Player of the Match. It was her maiden T20I fifty in her 19th match. She had recently played for the Hobart Hurricanes in the inaugural Women’s Big Bash League to score 195 runs, and her captain, Taylor, had featured for the Sydney Thunder, who won the tournament. Taylor credited Matthews’ stint in the Women’s BBL for their side’s dominating show.
“It actually helped us,” Taylor said. “It was good for her exposure and build on her. She’s matured the way she played.”
The West Indies players were joined in their celebrations by the men’s team who were going to play against England soon at the same ground. Taylor said the men’s team were backing them and were giving them full support.
“We have the full support,” she said. “When we won the semis, Darren Sammy said we need to celebrate and have a drink. We are quite far far away [from home]. We can’t interact face to face and rely on text messages with people back home. We just need to go there and do your best.”
With one dream fulfilled, Taylor said another one on the list was to play Test cricket. “That’s one of my dreams – to play Test cricket. It will suit my style and build my game. [I’d] definitely like to play Test. Some of the girls playing here will like the longer format and build their game. It will help us in ODI games.”
Taylor had taken over the captaincy only last September from Merissa Aguilleira, and led West Indies to ODI and T20I series wins against Pakistan at home. She was the highest run-scorer in the ODIs with an average of 130.50.
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Source: ESPN Crickinfo