Barbados will take on India in a must-win match at the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham on Wednesday. The winner of the contest will advance to the semifinal, along with Australia, from Group A.
Why is Barbados playing at the Commonwealth Games?
Barbados, part of the Caribbean, is participating at the Games because a multi-nation team, such as the West Indies, doesn’t make the cut. The island nation made its international debut against Pakistan on Friday in its CWG 2022 opener and won the match by 15 runs. However, it went down to Australia by 15 runs in the following game.
How did Barbados qualify for the Commonwealth Games?
The Hayley Mathews-led side qualified for the Commonwealth Games 2022 after winning the Twenty20 Blaze in 2019, organised by Cricket West Indies (CWI). The Board had earmarked the 2021 edition of the T20 competition as the qualifier tournament for the Games. However, the competition was cancelled due to COVID-19 and Barbados, being the most recent winner, was selected for the CWG 2022. Out of the six editions of the T20 Blaze held so far, Barbados has won two, while Jamaica, winner of the 2022 edition, has won three titles.
Barbados is coming off a title win in the Women’s Super50 Cup – the domestic 50-over tournament – in June. It has won the last three editions of the competition. Skipper Mathews was the leading run-scorer in the most recent editions of the T20 Blaze and the Super50 Cup in 2022.
International experience aplenty
While Barbados is new to international cricket as a unit, seven of its CWG 2022 squad members have played international cricket for West Indies, including skipper Hayley Mathews and Deandra Dottin.
Interestingly, this is not the first time a team from Barbados is playing cricket at the Comonwealth Games. During the 1998 Games in Kuala Lumpur, the men’s team from Barbados had participated at the quadrennial event. Led by Philo Wallace, Barbados beat Northern Ireland by 176 runs but lost to Bangladesh and South Africa in the group stage and failed to qualify for the semifinal.
The first and last time men’s cricket featured at the Games was in 1998. South Africa beat Australia in the final of the 50-over competition to win the gold.
Hayley Matthews* (c), Aaliyah Alleyne*, Shanika Bruce, Shai Carrington, Shaunte Carrington, Shamilia Connell*, Deandra Dottin*, Keila Elliott, Trishan Holder, Kycia Knight*, Kyshona Knight*, Alisa Scantlebury, Shakera Selman*, Tiffany Thorpe, Aaliyah Williams. *Played for West Indies