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(ESPN)- Hayley Matthews has taken over as captain of the West Indies women’s side from Stafanie Taylor, who was at the helm for seven years. According to a Cricket West Indies (CWI) release, Matthews will assume the role ahead of the team’s next series which is “expected to be played later this year”.
Taylor was named captain in 2015 and made her mark straightaway, most notably leading her side to the 2016 T20 World Cup title, as well as the semi-final of the ODI World Cup in New Zealand earlier this year. She has scored 5298 runs in 145 ODIs and 3121 runs in 111 T20Is, in addition to taking 152 wickets and 98 in the formats respectively. Taylor captained West Indies to 25 wins in 62 ODIs and 33 wins in 55 T20Is.
Matthews, 24, made her debut for West Indies in 2014, and played a leading role in her side’s 2016 T20 World Cup triumph. She was named the Player of the Match in the final against Australia where she made a 45-ball 66. She was appointed vice-captain ahead of the T20 World Cup in 2018. She has 1764 runs and 78 wickets in 69 ODIs, and 1055 runs and 58 wickets in 61 T20Is.
The recommendation by the women’s selection panel to make Matthews the captain was ratified at the CWI board of directors meeting on June 24.
“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. We’ve accomplished some of our biggest milestones with her at the forefront and I look forward to continuing playing alongside her.
Head coach Courtney Walsh said: “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.”
“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.” Ann Browne-John, lead selector for women’s cricket, said. “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.”