Matches (36)
BAN v NZ (1)
Abu Dhabi T10 (6)
WBBL 2023 (1)
Legends League (2)
SA v WI (A tour) (1)
Sheffield Shield (3)
Hazare Trophy (18)
IND v ENG (W-A) (1)
MT20WC QLF (2)
IND v AUS (1)

Deitz's message to West Indies: play with freedom and have fun

Captain Hayley Matthews has promised her team will take an aggressive approach

Andrew McGlashan
Andrew McGlashan
There will be an Australian influence on West Indies as they aim to topple the world champions on their home soil over the next two weeks with Shane Deitz taking charge for his first series as the new head coach.
Deitz, the former South Australia wicketkeeper-batter who has previously coached the Bangladesh and Netherlands women's sides, took up his role last month but this tour has been the first chance for him to get the squad together.
Although Australia stumbled in the Ashes, losing both white-ball series to retain the urn with an overall draw, they will start strong favourites against West Indies, for whom this is a first bilateral tour of the country since 2014. They have won their last five T20Is, following a run of 15 consecutive defeats, but the end of the losing streak came too late to save their T20 World Cup campaign in South Africa.
Deitz has a simple message for them ahead of the opening T20I in Sydney: play with freedom and have fun.
"Got out there and enjoy it. Enjoy the challenge and play with freedom," Deitz told ESPNcricinfo. "We've got nothing to lose. Australia is the world's best team for a long time now. We've got to find an identity for how we want to play. Using that natural ability and talent and letting that flow is the way I'm looking to do it. Play with a smile on your face, have fun."
It's a philosophy that captain Hayley Matthews, who will join Melbourne Renegades for the WBBL after this tour, is fully onboard with as the pair look to build towards next year's T20 World Cup in Bangladesh.
Matthews made her ODI debut as a 16-year-old on the 2014 tour and scored half-centuries in each of the three ODIs. She was elevated to the captaincy last year to replace Stafanie Taylor.
"We are definitely up for the challenge," she said. "At the end of the day if we are going to compete with the best teams in the world that's the brand of cricket we are going to have to play. Teams are now scoring 160-170 runs in T20 games and don't reckon anyone's going to score or win games by just nudging it around.
"Not only the younger players, but everyone within the team has to have freedom to go out there and push their boundaries, push their limits and that's what we are encouraging."
Matthews, who is averaging 43.33 with the bat 15.78 with the ball in T20Is this year, having been West Indies' leading run-scorer and wicket-taker at the 2022 ODI World Cup, will be pivotal to what they want to achieve. She comes into the tour after a player-of-the-match performance in the WCPL final.
"Her performances over the last 12 months or longer have been unbelievable," Deitz said. "She's one of the best in the world, for sure. I've been so impressed with her leadership and captaincy within the group. It's amazing for her age to be such a great leader. We are enjoying our time working together, we think along the same lines. Think the team's in good hands with her."
Matthews added: "He's gelled really well with the group and tried to get into the culture of the girls a little bit. At the same he's spoken a lot about us progressing in the right direction and getting the youngsters to a certain standard and becoming a more consistent team."
West Indies warmed-up for the T20I series with a four-wicket win over New South Wales although they slipped to 8 for 3 in their chase. The experienced Shemaine Campbelle top-scored with 33 while 18-year-old Zaida James, one of a group of young players included for the tour, helped complete the chase.
"There's definitely a lot of youth coming through, [it's about] harnessing that talent and putting in a world-class high-performance programme around them to produce international standard players," Deitz said. "There's definitely lots to work with. We want to win every game, but you have to have a longer-term vision to develop players and allow them to make mistakes along the way.
"We want to find a nucleus of players for that [T20] World Cup, it's a year away now, we are definitely building towards that, so we have to work with the players to get them ready."
Australia captain Alyssa Healy, who is continuing in the role in the absence of Meg Lanning and plays her 250th international on Sunday, is wary of West Indies' threat.
"I think they are a really damaging side," she said. "Maybe the results over the last 12 months don't quite represent the side they are and how much damage they can do. They've got two of the best players in the world at the top of the order and some really damaging new-ball options as well. If Hayley Matthews gets going at North Sydney Oval it will be really hard to stop.
"We aren't taking them lightly at all, don't think you can take any team in world cricket lightly at the moment, everyone is beating everyone which is great for our sport, so we'll have to put our best foot forward."

Andrew McGlashan is a deputy editor at ESPNcricinfo