Selman: ‘Windies under no pressure’

SOUTHAMPTON, England – Seasoned fast bowler Shakera Selman says West Indies Women are anxious to add the 50-overs World Cup to their trophy cabinet, but are not under any pressure ahead of the campaign which bowls off later this month.

West Indies stunned the world last year when they beat reigning champions Australia to clinch the T20 World Cup in India and enter this month’s June 24 to July 23 tournament as one of the favourites.

“Honestly it would be great if we could win a 50-over World Cup and add it to our T20 championship,” the 27-year-old said during the ongoing West Indies Women’s camp at the Ageas Bowl.

Shakera Selman is hoping to impress in English conditions.

“I think we’ve been playing 50-over cricket for a while now and it would be good to prove to everyone that we are good 50-over players as well.”

West Indies were good enough to reach the final of the last 50-overs World Cup in India four years ago before going down to Australia, and have improved significantly since then.

They produced decent enough form to finish fourth in the ICC Women’s Championship and qualify directly for the World Cup.

But even though expectations are high, Selman said the Caribbean side would use it to challenge themselves.

“I wouldn’t say it would be a burden. Of course the people and the fans back home are expecting us to do well in this World Cup as well but we can turn that into good pressure,” the Barbadian pointed out.

“It’s good to have the support from the fans back home. More people are finally paying attention to us and I think that can actually motivate us in this tournament.”

West Indies open their round-robin campaign against reigning champions Australia on June 26 and take on India three days later also in Taunton.

Selman said while all of the teams would provide tough competition, hosts England would probably be the sternest test for the Windies.

“I think England will be a very big challenge at home. Most teams have home advantage,” she noted.

“I think the English players have done well. They beat us in the last series back in the Caribbean so I think they will come in with an advantage but we are ready for them.”

The veteran of 65 One-Day Internationals and nine years of international cricket has also set her sights on excelling expecially in the seam-friendly English conditions.

“I’m a swing bowler so I think I would really love these conditions,” she said. “Also, I pride myself in my fielding and these outfields are very good for people who like to dive.”

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