Walsh gives newcomer Williams vote of confidence
BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (CMC):
WEST INDIES Women’s cricket team head coach, Courtney Walsh, has praised new opening batter Rashada Williams despite his side’s loss in the just-ended One-Day International series against South Africa, describing her as “the find of the series”.
Williams, a 24-year-old who also keeps wicket, was selected for the last three ODIs in the five-match series and grabbed the opportunities with both hands, recording scores of 37, 42, and 78 not out. The latter performance helped West Indies win the final match in a Super Over, the only victory of the series.
Walsh welcomed the steady and controlled batting of Williams.
“She has done everything right. She came, and she put her hand up. She didn’t start the series … but got a chance in the ODIs, and in all the games she played, she was consistent, and that is what we’re trying to get from the rest of the batters,” he said.
“You could say she was probably the find of the series, really. The work we’ve been doing with her, she took it. She has gone out and played three games and had three good scores. She got a chance and showed her worth. She also gives the option of wicket-keeping.”
The West Indies fast-bowling legend added: “She has shown to other youngsters outside that if you show your talent, you can get an opportunity. I’m hoping that will encourage others.”
Walsh said a few other players “put their hands up”, which benefited the squad.
“Qiana Joseph played a tremendous role with her left-arm spin in both formats. Nowadays, most teams have a left-arm spinner, and I was very keen to have a look at her, and she did well. Sheneta Grimmond came in with her off-spin bowling and did well, with four wickets in the last match, which helped us to win. Those are some of the positive signs we are happy with, and once we do so more consistently, we will win more matches,” he said.
Williams’ last knock was particularly impressive as she batted through the innings. It led to the West Indies Women's win in the final match at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium.
Williams said: “I just know once I applied myself and batted well, I would be good enough to get a score. It felt really great to get a score and lead the team to victory in the final match. That was the aim …. once I (got) a chance, to make the most of it, because in this game, you have to make every opportunity count. The longer I bat, the easier it will become to get the runs. I’m not the power-hitter, but I can manipulate the strike and rotate the scoring, putting away the bad balls when they come my way. I’m young, and this is just the start, and the aim is to maintain the standard and get even better for the West Indies.”
Williams identified the ICC World Cup Qualifiers from November 16 to December 5 in Zimbabwe and, ultimately, the ICC Women’s World Cup in New Zealand as her short-term goals. She is aiming to carry her consistent scoring for the Maroon Warriors.
Now that the series against South Africa is finished, Williams will be back to balancing schoolwork as she is reading for a Bachelor’s Degree in Physical Education from The MICO Univeristy College in Jamaica.
She will also be focusing on cricket training before departing the Caribbean for the qualifiers.