Minister of Social Cohesion with responsibility for Culture, Youth and Sport, Dr. George Norton, said that he is ecstatic about Guyana’s participation in the upcoming International Cricket Council’s (ICC) Women’s Twenty/Twenty (T/20) World Cup 2018, which was officially launched on Friday at the Umana Yana, Kingston. This tournament would be the sixth of its kind and the second to be hosted in the West Indies. Guyana will be hosting the preliminary round and warm up matches for the tournament in November.
Delivering his remarks, Minister Norton said that women’s cricket has evolved tremendously since the first match was played, which was recorded in The Reading Mercury on July 26, 1745. This match was contested between eleven women of Bramley and eleven of Hambledon. The prizes often ranged from barrels of ale to pairs of lace gloves. The Minister also said that women have been playing cricket internationally since the inaugural test match between England and Australia in December 1934.
In addition, he said, “since 1973, women’s one day internationals have also been contested and these quickly became the focus of women’s international cricket. In 2004, the shorter, more exciting format of Twenty20 was introduced. Initially, it was played little at the international level with only four matches played by the end of 2006. However, the following three years saw rapid growth with six matches played in 2007, 10 in 2008 and 30 in 2009, which also saw the first ICC Women’s World Twenty20”.
Meanwhile, Cricket West Indies (CWI) Director and Director of the Tournament, Ms. Jennifer Nero said “the tournament will be of great significance as it signals to the world that gender equality is an integral part of ICC and CWI agendas”. She also said that this is in keeping with CWI’s vision, “to bring the Caribbean flavour to successfully host the games. CWI will use this tournament as a springboard to raise children and women’s participation in the sport in the region”.
ICC Executive, Mr. David Richards, who was unable to attend the launch, in a video recorded message said that he is pleased that West Indies women will have a chance to defend their title on their home soil.
In addition, Assistant Director of Sport in Guyana, Ms. Melissa Dow-Richardson lauded the ICC for hosting the tournament as a stand-alone match. “We celebrate gender maturity and gender prosperity as the best female cricketers on the planet prepare to showcase for us their magnificent gifts of agility, skills of precision and presentations of team-ship. We congratulate the athletes preparing to compete in these Women’s World Top 20 2018 matches,” she said.
The tournament will start on November 9 and run until November 24. Saint Lucia and Antigua and Barbuda will also be hosting matches in their territories.