West Indies women’s team all-rounder Hayley Matthews on Sunday replaced Stafanie Taylor as the new captain of the side. Taylor’s reign as West Indies captain came to an end after leading them in 62 One Day Internationals and 55 T20 Internationals for close to a decade.
Matthews served as the vice-captain of the team under Taylor in the past and it was West Indies head coach Courtney Walsh who decided the change in captaincy.
“The selection panel felt that it was time to make the change,” Walsh was quoted as saying by ICC’s official website.
“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.
We will have Stafanie Taylor to concentrate on her best cricket: Courtney Walsh
Taylor led West Indies to the 2016 T20 World Cup title in India and took the side to the semi-finals of the ICC Women’s World Cup 2022 this year in New Zealand. The 31-year-old will continue to play for West Indies under the new setup and will guide her successor with her own leadership experience over the years.
“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,” Walsh said.
Stafanie Taylor’s leadership has played a major role in the player I am today: Hayley Matthews
Matthews, who has played 69 ODIs and 69 T20Is for West Indies, was preferred for the captaincy over veteran spinner Anisa Mohammed. Mohammed was the designated vice-captain in the World Cup and has also led the team in both formats (nine T20Is and seven ODIs) in Taylor’s absence.
“I am both humbled and honoured to be given the opportunity to captain the West Indies Women’s Team,” Matthews said.
“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 would like to thank Stafanie for her astounding leadership of the team over the years,” Matthews added.
Taylor is the leading run-scorer for West Indies women in both T20Is and ODIs at present.