Regional powerhouses Barbados look to make a mark at international level
Cricket will return to the Commonwealth Games for the first time in 24 years when India take on Australia at the Edgbaston in Birmingham on Friday (July 29). The 1998 edition only featured men’s cricket, whereas women’s cricket will be making its debut at the multi-sport event. Barbados will also be in action on the opening day. They will start their campaign by facing Pakistan, the fourth team in Group A.
They have also finished runners-up on two occasions. They were runners-up to Jamaica in the latest edition in 2022 and had also finished runners-up to Jamaica in the 2013 edition.
How has their recent form been?
Likely playing XI
She was also the leading run getter in both the T20 Blaze as well as the Super 50 Cup recently. Matthews was the third-highest wicket taker too in the Super 50 Cup and comes into the Commonwealth Games in scintillating form.
Her leadership style is generally very proactive and aggressive and it will be interesting to see if she can bring that to the international level as well.
She was the Player of the Tournament at the Women’s T20 Challenge earlier this year in India, where she guided the Supernovas to the title with an all-round show in the final.
Other than her thrusting starts with the bat, Barbados will also rely on Dottin’s death bowling in what is an international quality bowling attack.
The 27-year old Shanika Bruce has not yet played for the West Indies but she has represented West Indies A in the past. The right arm medium pacer has the ability to generate prodigious swing with the new ball.
The conditions in England might be to her liking and her ability to strike regularly with the new ball might give Barbados an early edge. She was the leading wicket taker in the T20 Blaze this year, scalping nine wickets in five matches at an average of 8.66 in just 20 overs.
While her numbers at the World Cup earlier this year might not stand out, Aaliyah Alleyne has made rapid strides for West Indies and she often fronted up to bowl the difficult overs at the World Cup.
She was the joint second-highest wicket taker in the T20 Blaze as well as the joint second-highest wicket taker in the Super 50 Cup, picking up eight wickets each in both the tournaments.
Barbados may never have played before at the international stage but a lot of their players are regulars for the West Indies or have played for them in the past. Their bowling attack is very high quality and they have two of the best batters in the world in Matthews and Dottin.
They will fancy their chances against Pakistan and might give India and Australia a scare too if one of their openers can bat deep into the innings.