Hayley Matthews has been named West Indies Women’s Captain, according to Cricket West Indies (CWI). Matthews, one of the best all-rounders in the world, will take over as captain from Stafanie Taylor ahead of the upcoming West Indies Women’s Series, which is set to take place later this year.
Taylor, the most successful female player in West Indies history and one of the all-time greats, has coached the squad for more than seven years, beginning in 2015. She led the West Indies to the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup title in 2016 and to the semi-finals of the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup in New Zealand earlier this year.
The suggestion of the CWI Women’s Selection Panel was approved by the CWI Board of Directors on Thursday, June 24.
Lead Selector for Women’s cricket Ann Browne-John thanked Stafanie for her years in the role saying,
“The selection panel has done a review of the team including the leadership. After this review, the panel took the decision to recommend that Hayley Matthews takes over the role as captain. Hayley has made notable progress over the years, serving as Vice-Captain of the West Indies Women’s Team and is the current Captain of her National Team, Barbados. She has matured as a player and is one of the leading players worldwide with a good grasp of the game. Given the experience that she would have gained in both roles, we are confident this is the ideal time for her to step into the role of captain.”
Browne-John added, “We recognize that leading the team for seven years is a considerable achievement to which Stafanie has given huge levels of commitment and energy. We believe Stafanie is a world-class performer who will no doubt continue to add tremendous value to the team as one of the top all-rounders in the game.”
West Indies Women’s Team Head Coach, Courtney Walsh said:
“The Selection panel felt that it was time to make the change. We figured the timing was right with the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup coming up early next year, if we were thinking of making any changes now would be the best time so that we give the new captain a couple of series under her belt before she enters into a World Cup. Hayley Matthews is young; she has longevity in the game, and she can lead the team for a longer time to get the experience and we are here to support her. For us, it’s a win-win as we will have Stafanie concentrate on her best cricket and passing on guidance to Hayley as she grows in the role of taking the team forward.”
Hayley Matthews expressed her elation over her appointment as West Indies Women’s Captain. She said:
“I am both humbled and honoured to be given the opportunity to Captain the West Indies Women’s Team. It is definitely an exhilarating feeling and I welcome the experience to lead and learn with open arms. This team has been very close to my heart from the beginning of my professional career eight years ago and the influence of Stafanie’s leadership throughout those eight years has played a major role in the player I am today. I eagerly anticipate working with the players to continue building on the progress in the team has made thus far.”
Matthews and Taylor have both been among West Indies’ top players. Taylor has scored 5,298 runs in 145 One-Day Internationals and 3,121 runs in 111 T20 Internationals throughout her career. She has also bagged 152 ODI wickets and 98 T20I wickets. Matthews, like Taylor, is a right-handed top-order hitter who bowls off-breaks. She has a strong international record, having scored 1,764 runs and taken 78 wickets in 69 ODIs and 1,055 runs and 58 wickets in 61 T20Is.