ST JOHN’S, Antigua, (CMC) – Vice-captain Anisa Mohammed has opted out of an otherwise full strength 18-member squad announced Wednesday for the bio-secure five-match Twenty20 International tour of England starting next month.Regular captain Stafanie Taylor will lead the side which includes the likes of Hayley Matthews, Deandra Dottin and Shemaine Campbelle, and will fly out of the Caribbean by private charter on Sunday after being tested for COVID-19.A Cricket West Indies (CWI) statement said Mohammed, an off-spinner who has played 100 matches in both limited overs formats, had “declined the invitation to travel to England.”“All players were given the option to decline selection for any COVID-19 related concern. CWI fully respects her decision to choose to do so,” CWI said.The tour marks the first international women’s series since the COVID-19 pandemic forced the halt of all cricket globally last March, and follows on the heels of the West Indies men’s three-Test rubber in England last month.Like that series, the women’s one will be played against the backdrop of the pandemic, which has been particularly devastating in the United Kingdom with 329 000 confirmed cases and already over 41 000 deaths.CWI’s director of cricket, Jimmy Adams, said the tour represented a great opportunity for the regional side, especially following a long period of inactivity.“CWI is pleased to be restarting its international women’s program with a tour to England, where the standard of women’s cricket has grown tremendously” Adams said.“We thank the ECB for their invitation and the added opportunity to travel with a larger squad affords us the chance to introduce a few younger players to this level of the game, and fast track their development.“With so much uncertainty surrounding cricket scheduling currently, this is a timely opportunity for our women to resume competitive cricket at the highest level.”The squad includes two uncapped players in Kaysia Schultz, a 23-year-old left-arm spinner who bats right-handed, along with 21-year-old Guyanese counterpart Cherry-Ann Fraser who was part of the squad for this year’s T20 World Cup in Australia but failed to play a game.Chief selector Ann Browne-John said the expanded squad allowed for greater development of players.“The larger 18-member squad also gives an opportunity to have young developing players involved, like the two players from Guyana – left-arm bowler Kaysia Shultz and all-rounder Shabika Gajnabi,” said Browne-John.“It also gives the opportunity to the young Trinidadian off spinner Karishma Ramharack to get some international experience.”Gajnabi has played 10 matches since making her debut last year while Ramharack has featured in eight, following her debut also last year.West Indies Women will be placed in a bio-secure bubble on arrival and will play all five matches at the Incora County Ground in Derby from September 21-30.SQUAD – Stafanie Taylor, Afy Fletcher, Hayley Matthews, Aaliyah Alleyne, Cherry Ann Fraser, Natasha Mclean, Shemaine Campbelle, Shabika Gajnabi, Chedean Nation, Britney Cooper, Sheneta Grimmond, Karishma Ramharack, Shamilia Connell, Chinelle Henry, Kaysia Schultz, Deandra Dottin, Lee Ann Kirby, Shakera Selman.
After a stressful month of play, the Wisconsin men’s hockey team will travel over 3,000 miles in hopes of recapturing their championship glory from last season. Saturday, the Badgers were officially swept by Boston College in a rematch of last year’s Frozen Four title game, and this weekend, they will resume conference play when they travel to Anchorage, Ala. Despite the Badgers daunting trek, UW head coach Mike Eaves believes a road trip is just what his team needs. “I’m looking forward to [the trip]. It’s exactly what we need right now; we need to get out of town,” Eaves said in his weekly press conference. “It’s early in the season, and it’s basically a five day trip for us; and we get to be on the road and get to know each other. … It’s going to be a great opportunity for us to become closer as a team.”The Badgers were outscored 7-1 this weekend due in large part to the Eagles’ edge in experience. B.C. returned 16 players from last year’s title bout, while UW returned nine, losing major contributors to graduation and the NHL. Their rookie replacements, most notably Jamie McBain, Mike Davies and John Mitchell, all seemed to be overwhelmed by the magnitude of a championship rematch.”The whole coaching staff, we were disappointed in the way we played; we wondered what happened with this young group … I think our kids were too tight Friday night, they wanted to play so well and they were outside their ideal performance state and they were too tight and didn’t play the way they were capable of,” Eaves said. “On Saturday we saw them play the way they were capable of, and because of their youth, when we go into another big weekend, we can be more sensitive to that fact and get them to loosen up a little bit.”The talented freshman class has shown flashes of greatness this season, but Eaves knows it is a long process before they reach their full potential.”We’re a younger group, and we have to get these younger guys up to speed with the older guys and upperclassmen as quick as we can,” Eaves said. “Last year, we were an all upperclassman team for the first time, and as coaches, we could sit back and let the team do the work. This year, we have to work with our captains and everybody else to bring them up to speed as quickly as we can.”Despite the disappointing result, Eaves has found a number of bright spots in the Badgers’ forgetful weekend. Eaves attributes much of Boston College’s success to stellar goaltending from Cory Schneider while crediting his team for bouncing back in the series finale. “I watched the [Boston College game Sunday], and by our count, we out-chanced them and we played pretty well,” Eaves said. “We talked Saturday night about how [Boston College] scored on their scoring chances and on our chances (Cory) Schneider was pretty good and he made some terrific saves.”Regardless of the Badgers’ disappointing .500 record, Eaves maintains that the team’s spirits are high, dismissing the idea that a championship repeat is unattainable. Eaves sees the upcoming road trip as a chance for Wisconsin to build on past performances as well as afford them the opportunity to discover who they are as a team.”This is a growth process, and there are a lot of good things we can take away from this weekend even though we lost,” Eaves said. “It’s early in the season, and now we kind of find out where we’re at as a group … can we regroup ourselves here with a direction and an attitude that will help us in the upcoming weekend.” Injury ReportUW forward Jack Skille is continuing to participate in skating drills, and Eaves is hopeful the sophomore standout will be able to increase mobility in his injured elbow. “He is going to have a stick in his hand this week and hopefully get to the point where he can do some skill drills with us, but the contact is a little bit away,” Eaves said.