Nadine George will captain a very inexperienced West Indies for the first time during their tour of Ireland, Netherlands and England. Eleven of the 16-player squad are set to make their international debuts on the trip which begins next week in Ireland, with one of them - Chedean Nation, named as vice-captain.
It's hardly a surprise that the side have so few international players among them: West Indies women have not played any international cricket for the last three years. This tour was arranged late but will finally guarantee them their spot at next year's World Cup in Australia and the following World Twenty20 tournament in England. They had been in the unusual position of having qualified automatically but they still faced missing out through ineligibility by not having played the required number of international matches.
A proposed tour to West Indies by India and Pakistan fell through, but the Ireland, Netherlands and England boards all stepped in to agree to host ODIs. Now the squad have 12 matches in which to acclimatise to the rigours of international cricket ahead of a big year next year. Of those 12 games, only two of them are ODIs against a qualifying side - England. West Indies will also make their Twenty20 debut on their tour.
Despite their lack of international exposure, their head coach Sherwin Campbell said the team is extremely confident and focused. "This is a young team but a very focused group of girls who are committed to what they are doing. The tour will include one-dayers as well as Twenty20s so we have been gearing up with that in mind," Campbell said. "The Twenty20s will be new to the girls so this tour will give them an opportunity to get some experience.
"We are looking at the development of the players as individuals and also as a team. We want to see the girls improving on their personal best performances and we also want to form a cohesive unit. It's international sport and at this level results as very important, so we will be going all out to win all three series."
George was the first West Indian to make a century in women's Tests (against Pakistan in 2004) while the four other international players are Anisa Mohammed, Kirbyina Alexander, Juliana Nero and Debbie-Ann Lewis, who will spearhead the bowling attack.
The squad departs on Saturday after a four-day high-performance camp.
Nadine George (capt), Merissa Aguilleira, Kirbyina Alexander, Deandra Dottin, Afy Fletcher, Stacy-Ann King, Lee-Ann Kirby, Debbie-Ann Lewis, Anisa Mohammed, Chedean Nation, Julianna Nero, Gaitri Seetahal, Shakera Selman, Danielle Small, Charlene Taitt, Stefanie Taylor.