Tri-series boost for women’s game
A TIE, each match going into the final over and, on Thursday, beyond to the super-over, no team without a victory, and a final under lights at Kensington Oval last night between the West Indies and their oldest and most intense cricketing rivals, England.
The triangular series over the past fortnight, televised live, has brought an overdue appreciation of the skills of women’s cricket to what remains the male-dominated Caribbean.
Those who previously dismissed it as an imitation of the real, manly sport have been astonished by the batting techniques of the leading players, the power of the West Indies’ Deandra Dottin, the overall fielding, not least some of the catching, and by the aptitude of the captains.
Heartened as well by the performance of a West Indies team unrecognizable from the lower-tier strugglers they were only a few years ago, the spectators have responded in numbers rarely seen these days for regional men’s first-class matches at Kensington.
There were expectations of as many as 5,000 for last night’s final. Such a turnout would have been unthinkable even at the start of the tournament.
For all that, cricket remains well behind netball as the top women’s sport in the English-speaking Caribbean. That is unlikely to change overnight but the televised excitement at Kensington is bound to be a boost for a game not so long ago regarded as a strictly male preserve.