Taylor, Dottin in sight of joint landmark
On June 24, 2008, a Jamaican and a Bajan, both 17, made their ODI debuts against Ireland in Dublin. The Taunton weather permitting, Stafanie Taylor and Deandra Dottin are both set to reach the milestone of 100 ODIs when West Indies meet India on Thursday.
The offspinner Anisa Mohammed is the only other West Indies women's cricketer to play 100 ODIs. Speaking to the media on Wednesday, Taylor said she was pleased to know she would bring up her landmark during a World Cup.
"I didn't remember until my media manager actually said it to me this morning that tomorrow is your 100th ODI game," she said. "Yeah, I'm pleased to be here and to know that the 100 is actually in a World Cup. So hopefully, in the end, we come out victorious."
Dottin said she came to know of her impending achievement only two days before the match.
"I'm feeling really good about what I've achieved and to be playing for the West Indies and playing so many matches," she said. "It all happened so fast, and it all came so fast, that I didn't even realise until the last training session we had yesterday."
When asked if she remembered her debut, Taylor spoke of it coming during a tour of Europe - which included matches against Ireland, Netherlands and England - but didn't recall any of her early triumphs, such as the fifties she made in her second and third ODIs. Instead, the West Indies captain spoke of her first game against England, which West Indies lost by 10 wickets after being bowled out for 41.
"Obviously playing against England, being 17, when you are very new to everything - we got beat, but I remember my first time playing for the West Indies and it was a memorable one."
Asked about her most memorable moment, she chose her maiden hundred, in Paarl in 2009, an unbeaten 108 that led West Indies to a five-wicket win.
"It would definitely be my first hundred that I made against South Africa," Taylor said. "I don't think anything could really beat [the feeling] when you're young and you've made your first hundred and even won the game for your team, so that is special."
Dottin, for her part, chose the final of the World Cup qualifier in 2011, when she made what remains her best ODI score, against Pakistan in Mirpur. "Well, the most memorable moment for me is scoring a 95 in Bangladesh in the World Cup qualifiers," she said. "I can't remember the year, but yeah."
Both said they had come a long way since their debut.
"I've made a massive improvement from where I was back then," Dottin said. "I was just a normal, ordinary kid, playing cricket, just doing what I came up doing, as in playing cricket at home with my brothers and stuff, but after all the training and coaching and stuff, I got more educated about it and I'm in a better place at the moment right now. I've improved a lot."
Taylor said she had become a lot more mature since her early days, and even brought up her tears after a narrow defeat to England at last year's World T20 as a step towards her growth. West Indies, under Taylor's leadership, went on to win the tournament.
"I would definitely say I've come a long way, where I know I've matured, looking back to the days where, you know, [I was] 17, and now to being 26, I would have learnt a lot - even crying last year in the World Cup. I've changed over the years, I've become the woman that I am today."