Hayley Matthews has been announced as the West Indies Women’s team captain and she’ll replace Stafanie Taylor ahead of the next series that the team will play.
The change in leadership was recommended by the Women’s selection panel and was ratified at the Cricket West Indies Board of Directors meeting on June 24.
Matthews will take on the role on an almost immediate basis, and will lead the side in their next international series – which is as yet to be confirmed.
Taylor has held the captaincy since 2015 but the Cricket West Indies selection panel, headed by lead selector Anne-Brown John, recently conducted a review of the team’s peformance and concluded that a change was timely.
Matthews has previously been vice-captain of the national side and skippers Barbados.
This will end Taylor’s long reign as skipper of the team during which West Indies won the T20 World Cup in 2016 and reached the semifinals of the 50-over World Cup in New Zealand earlier this year.
Taylor first captained West Indies in T20Is in 2012 while she led the ODI side for the first time in 2013.
In 55 T20Is under Taylor’s leadership, West Indies won 29 matches and lost 24 times while she led the team in 62 ODIs, with 25 wins and 33 losses.
“The selection panel has done a review of the team including the leadership. After this review the panel took the decision to recommend that Hayley Matthews takes over the role as captain. Hayley has made notable progress over the years, serving as Vice-Captain of the West Indies Women’s Team and is the current Captain of her National Team, Barbados.
She has matured as a player and is one of the leading players worldwide with a good grasp of the game. Given the experience that she would have gained in both roles, we are confident this is the ideal time for her to step into the role of captain,” Ann Browne-John, the lead selector, said.
“We recognize that leading the team for seven years is a considerable achievement to which Stafanie has given huge levels of commitment and energy. We believe Stafanie is a world class performer who will no doubt continue to add tremendous value to the team as one of the top all-rounders in the game,” she added.
Speaking about the captaincy change, Courtney Walsh, the team’s head coach, said:
“The Selection panel felt that it was time to make the change. We figured the timing was right with the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup coming up early next year, if we were thinking of making any changes now would be the best time so that we give the new captain a couple of series under her belt before she enters into a World Cup.
Hayley Matthews is young; she has longevity in the game, and she can lead the team for a longer time to get the experience and we are here to support her. For us it’s a win-win as we will have Stafanie to concentrate on her best cricket and passing on guidance to Hayley as she grows in the role of taking the team forward.”
Matthews, who has played 69 ODIs and 61 T20Is, spoke about the pride of leading West Indies and how Taylor’s leadership had an influence on her as a cricketer.
“I am both humbled and honoured to be given the opportunity to Captain the West Indies Women’s Team. It is definitely an exhilarating feeling and I welcome the experience to lead and learn with open arms.
This team has been very close to my heart from the beginning of my professional career eight years ago and the influence of Stafanie’s leadership throughout those eight years has played a major role in the player I am today. I eagerly anticipate working with the players to continue building on the progress in which the team has made thus far.”
“I would like to thank Stafanie for her astounding leadership of the team over the years. We’ve accomplished some of our biggest milestones with her at the forefront and I look forward to continuing playing alongside her,” said Matthews