The ICC Women’s World T20 2018 is the perfect platform for young girls to learn that they have a future in cricket, Shivnarine Chanderpaul, the Windies legend, feels.
As a young girl in Guyana, Devi Chanderpaul was a fast bowler. She was an even better cricketer than her brother Shiv, according to those that saw her. Her brother, who has over 40,000 runs in first-class and List A cricket in a long career of 16-odd years, himself acknowledges it.
Soon enough, though, Devi had to quit the sport.
Back then, “there was no women’s cricket in Guyana that much for her to carry on. When we were kids playing together, she was actually better than me,” said Shivnarine.
But now, all these years later, as the ICC Women’s World T20 2018 comes to Guyana in the first time that the tournament is being held as a standalone event, so much has changed.
“It’s exciting,” said Chanderpaul, who is one of the ambassadors for the Women’s World T20 2018. “I’ve seen it from way back then to now, and I see the standard has changed, the bowling, batting and fielding is totally different, the professionalism these girls show is amazing.
“They play cricket really, really hard, and in fielding, they throw themselves around, like proper, professional cricket.”
Guyana now has a good number of female cricketers coming through the ranks. Shemaine Campbelle is part of the Windies squad for the World T20, and ahead of the tournament, the local board held an Under-17 T20 league.
The expectation is that having a global tournament in the country, with the best in the game showing off their skills, will only speed up the growth of the sport in an already cricket-crazy land.
“We already have young female cricketers in Guyana,” pointed out Chanderpaul. “This is the perfect (chance) for young girls to see there is a future for them, if they want, in cricket. Young girls who want to play cricket, this is the perfect opportunity for them to have a look and see that they can take it forward.”
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