More than 100 participants were present at the launch of the Mothers & Daughters coaching programme in St John’s, Antigua over the weekend.
It’s one of the main initiatives around the upcoming ICC Women’s World T20 2018, to be played in Antigua, St Lucia and Guyana in November.
The inauguration of the programme – piloted by the International Cricket Council and organised by Cricket West Indies – was well attended.
“This is the first ever Mothers & Daughters cricket event in the West Indies. This is the pioneer project and we will have two others to come in St Lucia and Guyana – as these are the three venues for the matches in the tournament,” said KJ Singh, the project co-ordinator.
“We are bringing everybody together. This is a version of cricket where the women and girls will be exposed to the game. They are with the coaches and they are having a good time.
“We also had promotional events to give tickets to everyone here – they will all get a chance to watch the semis and final in Antigua on November 22 and 24 at the Sir Vivian Richards Cricket Ground.”
Members of the Windies side, the defending champions after having won the last edition in 2016, were present on the occasion, as were former male internationals Gus Logie, Jimmy Adams and the legendary Sir Andy Roberts, who is an ambassador for the tournament. Logie is the assistant coach of the Windies side, while Adams is the CWI Director of Cricket.
“This Mothers & Daughters event as well as the ICC Women’s World T20 are stepping stones. We want everyone to come out and support the ladies. Let women’s cricket be the catalyst for the rebirth of West Indies cricket,” said 58-year-old Logie, who played 52 Tests and 158 one-day internationals between 1983 and 1991.
“The next few weeks will be huge in the lives of so many people. It is a coming together and we want the girls to repeat as champions. More than that, we want to see them lift themselves, lift the game and lift the people of the Caribbean. If we can come together and support the team and the tournament, nothing is impossible.
“It’s a great initiative, it’s a great way to introduce women to the game and it will have great impetus as we look to build and grow the sport among everyone in our families and our communities.”
Singh added that the initiative would help spread cricket. "They (the participants) are learning all the skills of the game – batting, bowling, fielding – and also a lot about the game itself. For many, this is the first time they are playing the game, so this will be memorable in many ways.
“This is part of Cricket4Good, an initiative which the ICC has going all over the world. This event has its origins at the ICC Americas and they deserve special mention for this event. We want to host this as an annual event all across the West Indies. It can grow and it brings informal cricket into play.
“There are a lot of women who want to play but they can’t become involved in formal cricket, so this is the right place for them – come out, have fun and enjoy the game they love, and it also promotes fitness, healthy lifestyle, community-building and camaraderie.”
Logie is also thrilled with the overall progress made in the women’s game, which is now on an unprecedented high, especially after the hugely successful ICC Women’s World Cup 2017.
“I had the opportunity in the early 1980s to work with a women’s team here in the West Indies and it is really great to see how the game has evolved and has become part of the mainstream,” he said.
“There is great professionalism and the women work very hard to improve. The skill level has improved tremendously and it really is a joy to see where we are now and where we want to go.”