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The United States of America Cricket Association (USACA) in collaboration with ICC Americas facilitated a high-performance camp in Barbados over the period August 7-15 for the USA women cricketers. The camp is in preparation for the upcoming Women’s Cricket World Cup Qualifier (WCWCQ) in Bangladesh, from November 14-25, 2011.

Thirteen women traveled to Barbados for the nine-day high-performance camp led by USA women’s head coach – Linden Fraser; manager – Louis Brown; physiotherapist – Basil Butcher;  logistics coordinator – Lloyd Dixon; and boosted by Andy Pick, ICC Americas High-Performance Officer. Two local specialist coaches, Rohan Nurse and Robin Parris, provided batting and fielding coaching respectively. Also in attendance were camp coordinators Wendell Coppin, ICC Americas Regional Officer, and Ann Brown, ICC Americas Women’s Coordinator.

USACA approved sending the 18 players selected to undergo development in preparation for the WCWCQ in Bangladesh; however, five players were unable to attend the camp. Joan Serrano, Doris Francis, Claudine Beckford, and Shebani Bhaskar were unable to attend due to work/school commitments; Indomatie Goordial-John withdrew from the camp at the last moment due to a family emergency; and Sanuja Dabade left the camp prematurely with a pre-existing injury that prevented adequate participation in the camp.

Day 1 – 3

Coach Fraser handed over the reigns to coach Pick for the first three days who led the ladies through high-intensity drills. Each day started with strengthening and core-activation exercises led by the physio, before the players shifted to precision fielding and throwing. All players were given the opportunity to fine-tune their batting technique. Bowlers then focused on target-bowling while the batswomen engaged in advanced batting skills development.

After a 45-minute lunch break, USA returned to the field for two, eight-over game scenario sessions. The game scenarios on day one brought to the fore that USA needed to improve on running between the wickets, communicating clearly, rotating the strike, and reducing the over rate. As each day progressed, USA improved steadily in all areas of the game. They did not forget coach Pick’s challenge on day one to the players to rate themselves based on the effort they put into every drill, and to improve daily.

Day 4 

The match, USA vs a Barbados XI, was brought forward one day to accommodate the availability of the Barbados players. Fortunately for USA, four Trinidad & Tobago players who were in Barbados for the regional West Indies women’s tournament were called in to fill four gaps on the Barbados team. This gave USA the opportunity to play a stronger team which included current West Indies player, Britney Cooper. Cooper however did not apply her batting specialty to the innings but instead opted to bowl. USA defeated the Barbados XI by 82 runs.

Score summary: usa_kensington

USA: 175 for 6 in 37 overs (Monique 51, Nadia 23, Melissa 22, Shinead 17 n.o.)

Barbados XI: 93 all out in 20.5 overs

Akshatha: 2-0-8-2; Samantha: 1.5-0-9-2; Shinead 4-0-16-2; Triholder: 5-0-19-2.

See the game report here.

Day 5 – 7

Coach Fraser led the way on the field ensuring that he kept the momentum and high-intensity going, after coach Pick’s departure. The ladies looked sluggish on day five after undergoing 3 days of training and a match. However, to their credit they demonstrated the commitment to the camp and personal development as cricketers. The sessions maintained their same form, starting the day off with strengthening and core-activation, fielding and throwing, batting, bowling, and game scenarios. On day seven, the local coaches included the bowling machine on the pitch to maximize the batting opportunities for the ladies.

Day 8

USA had the day off from training, giving the ladies the opportunity to rest before the game against a West Indies XI the following day, and also a chance to see the West Indies regional women’s final match between Trinidad & Tobago and Jamaica. Jamaica won but more importantly, the game gave USA a first-hand look at current West Indian players, Stafanie Taylor, Shanel Daley, Anisa Mohamed, skipper Merrisa Aguillera, Stacy-Ann King, Britney Cooper et al. These players also gave an insight into the opponents team USA should expect to face in Bangladesh. Stafanie Taylor is the world’s #2 batswoman and all-rounder in the world in One-Day Internationals (ODIs). USA was quite comforted to know that their competition in Bangladesh is likely to not get better than what they observed.

Day 9

The Barbados skies opened up and a match looked impossible; however, fantastic work by the Wanderer’s Cricket Club’s groundsman brought the pitch back to near perfect condition. The umpires decided to play a 25-over match but several players tapped to play in the match for the West Indies XI left the country for their respective homes. Again, with the opposing team short of players, players were called in at short notice to fill the West Indies XI. This time, Deandra Dottin, the famous West Indian player to score the fastest century in Twenty Twenty cricket for both males and females, was among the substitute players. Dottin’s regular W.I. teammate, Shakera Selman, was also added to the team, making it an even stronger W.I. XI than was selected the night before. W.I. defeated USA by 47 runs in 22 overs.

Score summary:

West Indies XI: 165 for 5 in 22 overs (Dottin 47, Mclean 30, Kycia Knight 39, Kyshona Knight 30)

Bowling: S. Ward 4-0-24-1; T. Marshall 5-0-25-0; A. Arora 2-0-24-0; S.Emerson 4-0-24-0; S. Ramataur 4-1-20-2; M. Sandy 2-0-16-0; A. Rao 1-0-13-0.

USA: 118 for 6 in 22 overs  (Atkins 52*, Emerson 11)

Bowling: Connell 2-0-12-0; Layne 3-0-12-1; Dottin 2-0-15-0; Watts 4-0-12-1; Quintyne 4-1-8-0; Elliott 4-0-20-0; Small 2-0-14-0; Maynard 1-0-11-0; McClean 1-0-10-0.

See the game report here.

USA pulled off a good performance against the W.I. XI given that four of its top-order batswomen were not present – all-rounders Goordial-John and Francis, Serrano, and prodigy Bhaskar. With a full USA squad, team USA promises to shock the cricket world in November at the WCWCQ.

Stay tuned and support USA Women on the Road to India 2013!

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