Last year’s beaten Super50 finalist, Barbados, will have in their ranks a seasoned campaigner in Danielle Small when the 2018 Windies Women’s Championship bowls off in Jamaica on June 10.
The 29-year-old batting all-rounder is making a comeback to the game of cricket, after last representing the national team in 2014. An injury had forced Small to call it quits on the game after extensive knee surgery. However, the former West Indies player was determined to get back in the game she has come to love so much. “I love cricket so much that even after doing my surgery, I started coaching and I got a job as the assistant coach for the Barbados Blind Cricket Team. I am also involved with the game at the administrative level, as I am also the Cricket Operations Officer at the Barbados Cricket Association (BCA).”
With the extensive exposure and new thrust and development in women’s cricket, Small was once again bitten by the cricket bug, and following months of intense physiotherapy, the burly right-hander decided to give it a go one more time. “I feel that I can still make a meaningful contribution to the Barbados team, I believe my experience of playing with the West Indies team between 2008 and 2010 will go a far way in helping the team to win the championship this time around.” Small made her debut for the West Indies against Ireland in 2008, and she last represented the team in April 2010 against Sri Lanka in a T20 international.
Small, aka ‘Dannie Alves’, is a Sagicor UWI Black Birds player, lists Shivnarine Chanderpaul as her favourite cricketer, loves to indulge in Macaroni pie, and likes to watch other sports as well as playing dominoes and travelling. Her best memory in cricket came in 2006 when she scored consecutive half-centuries against Jamaica in the Goodwill Cup series.
With Jamaica playing host to the Championships this year, Small believes the competition will be even more fierce this time around. “Even though the Barbados team is a well-balanced team, I think we will have to play at our utmost best to win both the T20 and Super50 titles.” Additionally, with the ICC World T20 Championships just months away, Small is setting her sights on getting back into the fray as she aspires for another senior call-up. “I would love to get back in the West Indies team, I believe if I put in the hard work and put up the numbers, the selectors may look my way, but I believe this is a great opportunity for the Windies Women to also defend their title on home turf, it would be an honor for me to be a part of that experience.” Small went on “What WIPA is doing is great with regards to raising the profile of women’s cricket, I would love for people of the Caribbean to see us as cricketers and not just female cricketers, we are professionals just like the men, and we want the game to grow even more so that young girls coming up will want to be a part of women’s cricket.”