Courtney Walsh hopes player development plan continues – “There are a number of youngsters that we had identified”

The West Indies Cricket has acted swiftly to their below-par performance at this year’s ICC Women’s T20 World Cup by announcing head coach, Courtney Walsh, will not have his contract renewed.

Walsh took the top job in October of 2020 and led the West Indies to the semi-finals of the 2022 ICC Women’s World Cup in New Zealand where they lost to eventual winners Australia.

After Sacked West Indies Women’s head coach Courtney Walsh said he hoped several emerging female players identified during his tenure will be given the chance to mature and serve the side in the immediate future.

Walsh said several emerging players had been given a chance over the past because of injuries to established players, while the search for the next generation of West Indies Women’s players continued – but he said it was important that they be given every opportunity to progress.

“We saw where they were learning and getting better, and I hope that continues,” Walsh said from his native Jamaica on the Mason & Guest cricket talk show on the same day on VOB 92.9 FM in Barbados. There are a number of youngsters that we had identified, and I hope those youngsters can still be pursued and encouraged and looked upon to take their rightful place in the team.”

Walsh said it was important that the senior players in the West Indies Women’s squad step up and help the emerging players to find their feet on the international stage.

“For the stalwarts who are still playing, it is hoped that they can help to guide the process because there were things that we started to put in place where people not only focussed on their personal performances and try to improve, but also help those young players to improve and understand what’s going on and how to go about it,” he said.

“I hope that continues, and that in a couple of seasons, those youngsters that we identified will be part of the West Indies Women’s team,” Walsh added.

Walsh said team captain Hayley Matthews has an important role to play in guiding the young players, and he was open to giving her whatever help she needed to be successful.

“I have a lot of respect for her because she’s a student of the game, and she is keen to learn and she gave me full support all the time. I will still be in touch with her and give her whatever support I can, even from a distance, because if she needs it, she knows the door is always open and we can communicate. I will still watch the women play and track their progress and wish them well in the future,” he said.

Walsh said one of the achievements of the squad under his guidance was that they never lost to a side ranked below them, and he hoped that helped to motivate the players to work harder and improve.

“You could never predict the outcome with injuries, which were a major stumbling block for us, but the effort we put in I am grateful. When we got involved, we had to go to the (50 overs) World Cup qualifiers, and we were the first team to go to the qualifiers, and make it to the World Cup semi-finals, so there were strides made there in the 50 overs,” Walsh stated.

He continued: “We didn’t make it to the semi-finals of the T20 World Cup, but I think the level of cricket we played – all of the teams to whom we lost were ranked above us.”

Walsh is well renowned as one of the best fast bowlers of all time, with the tall right-armer having amassed a total of 519 Test wickets throughout a distinguished international career with the West Indies.

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