Stafanie Taylor named in West Indies T20 World Cup squad, subject to fitness test
Allrounder and former captain will undergo further treatment for back injury in Cape Town
Stafanie Taylor has been named in West Indies' squad for this month's T20 World Cup, subject to a final fitness test.
Taylor, the experienced allrounder and former captain who led West Indies to the title in 2016, has been troubled by a back injury. Her last international appearance was an ODI against New Zealand in September, when she scored an unbeaten half-century but retired hurt after a Player-of-the-Match performance, and she has not played a T20I since July 2021.
Taylor is joined in a 15-strong squad announced on Wednesday by three other senior players recovering from injury, Shakera Selman, Chinelle Henry and Chedean Nation. CWI also said via Twitter that Taylor had consulted a back injury specialist in Johannesburg and travelled to Cape Town for further treatment and to "commence her return-to-play protocols" ahead of the squad's arrival on Friday.
"The Cricket West Indies medical team will continue to support and care for Stafanie and we wish her all the very best in her efforts to return to full fitness in time to participate in the ICC Women's T20 World Cup," CWI added.
West Indies have also called up three players from the side which contested the inaugural Under-19 Women's T20 World Cup, also in South Africa and won by India on Sunday. Allrounders Djenaba Joseph - who featured in the recent home series against England - and Zaida James were included, as was Trishan Holder, who represented Barbados at last year's Commonwealth Games.
All three played in West Indies' eight-wicket defeat to India in their final match of the tri-series in South Africa on Sunday after being called in as cover for those senior players undergoing injury rehabilitation.
"We continue the developmental pathway to grow women's cricket in the region, hence we feel the time is right to include three of the Under-19 Rising Stars in the squad," lead selector Ann Browne-John said. "Zaida brings both left-hand batting and left-arm orthodox bowling, both of which the team has been missing in recent times. Djenaba is a batting allrounder and Trishan a powerful striker and wicketkeeping option. They have all proven that they can hold their own at this level."
Wicketkeeper-batter Shemaine Campbelle will be Hayley Matthews' vice-captain. The duo are among six players - alongside Taylor, Selman, Shamilia Connell and Afy Fletcher - who lifted the trophy seven years ago.
West Indies' recent form has been a concern, however. They have gone winless in their last 13 T20Is since September last year and all four of their defeats in the tri-series, which concludes with the final between India and South Africa on Thursday, came by considerable margins.
Drawn in Group 2 alongside England, India, Pakistan and Ireland, West Indies will open their World Cup campaign against England at Paarl's Boland Park on February 11.
West Indies squad: Hayley Matthews (capt), Shemaine Campbelle, Aaliyah Alleyne, Shamilia Connell, Afy Fletcher, Shabika Gajnabi, Chinelle Henry, Trishan Holder, Zaida James, Djenaba Joseph, Chedean Nation, Karishma Ramharack, Shakera Selman, Stafanie Taylor, Rashada Williams
Valkerie Baynes is a general editor at ESPNcricinfo