Stafanie Taylor, West Indies women’s captain, has hailed the hard work that women’s cricketers have put in after becoming only the second player – male or female – to reach the landmark of 3000 T20I runs.
Taylor, 29, reached the milestone with a scampered second run on an overthrow in West Indies’ second T20I against England, joining New Zealand’s Suzie Bates in an exclusive club.
And while she insisted that she had not been thinking about her proximity to the achievement, she admitted that it felt “really good” to have surpassed that mark.
“I’m not really a stats person, so I wouldn’t know these things,” she said in an in-house Cricket West Indies interview. “But when it came up on the big screen, it was a really good feeling.
“To see that it’s a female who is in front of me, it shows the amount of work that we as female cricketers have been doing over the years. To see that a lot of people have highlighted what we have done is a great feeling. It’s always about men’s cricket, so it’s good to see that they’ve highlighted females who have done really well in the game.”
Reflecting on her achievement, Taylor said that diet and fitness had been the keys to her longevity in the game, having won 105 T20I caps to date, and highlighted Virat Kohli’s decision to quit meat after the 2016 IPL as an inspiration.
“I remember he [Kohli] did an interview not long ago, and said that he had been home after a tour and looked at himself in the mirror, and was like: ‘nah’. He didn’t like what he was seeing, and if he wanted to compete with the top players, he had to change the way he went about thing.
“That was a place I was in, and I was like, if you really want to compete with really top athletes like Australia, they take their fitness very seriously. I thought to myself that I was tired of eating meat. I said: ‘you know what, I’m going to change it up a bit, and eat some fish, and when there’s no fish, I’ll eat veg’.
“When I stopped eating meat and started doing some exercise, people started commenting on the fact I’d lost of a lot of weight. I was like ‘no, I don’t think so’, but as I kept going, kept putting in work, going out to exercise at six in the morning, making sure my nutrition was good, I realised that when I was putting on my jeans, it wasn’t the same. After seeing those changes, it really felt good on my body.”
Taylor also highlighted the need for a domestic and academy system for women’s cricketers in the West Indies structure, suggesting that her side is crying out for young talent that is not coming through.
“I’ve spoken about this plenty of times,” she said. “I’d love to see some young players coming through, integrating with the old folks, learning a thing or two.
“We definitely need a feeder system. That’s what we lack. When you look around the world, especially India, Australia and England, they’ve been doing really well with young players coming through the system, and then when they reach international level, it’s nothing new – it’s not foreign to them. That’s what I would love to see in the Caribbean.”