CMC – WEST Indies opener Hayley Matthews has dismissed the suggestion that a lack of fitness was responsible for the squad’s unimpressive performance in this year’s T20 World Cup.
As far as she is concerned, it was simply a matter of the team not executing when they went up against their opponents.
West Indies Women won just one of their four group matches – beating minnows Thailand in their opener before losing to Pakistan, England and South Africa – to finish third in the preliminaries of the tournament and miss out on the semi-finals for the first time in six appearances.
“I don’t think it’s a lack of fitness. I just think it was a lack of us performing on the day and being able to execute with the skills that we know that we have,” Matthews said on the Mason and Guest radio programme here Tuesday night.
“We were in camp for the last probably two years, so it definitely doesn’t have to do with the work that we’ve been putting in of late. Whenever you go to a big tournament like that you’re competing against seven or eight other teams who also want to do well and it just comes down to who plays the best cricket on the day and unfortunately when we got to our point where we needed to play good cricket we just weren’t able to do it.”
West Indies Women won their first T20 World Cup title in 2016, but failed in their title defence in 2018 when they struck out at the semi-final stage.
The 22-year-old acknowledged that the competition was getting tougher, with women’s cricket growing “tremendously” over the last few years.
“It is our job and it’s on us now to be able to keep up with that and be able to keep moving forward, and it’s just a case of us being able to do the work to get into that position; using our facilities best to understand what is happening in the game right now and keeping up with that level of cricket,” she said.
“The women’s game is growing very fast – a lot faster than the men’s game, obviously, because it has a lot more room to grow – and we just need to be able to keep up with that at this time.”
Amid the COVID-19 pandemic that has prevented on-field play in the region and across the world, personal fitness will be a priority for West Indies Women, lead selector Ann Browne-John said last week. She said each member of the squad was issued with fitness plans, allowing them to remain in shape in preparation for the resumption of international cricket.
Matthews said she was following the programme provided by her trainer, using resources at home to stay fit.