Smith hopes others will follow teen
New ground having been broken with Shaquana Quintyne becoming the first woman to play among the men at the highest level of the Barbados Cricket Association’s domestic cricket, Barbados and West Indies all-rounder Dwayne Smith is hoping this will spark a new trend locally and throughout the region.
The 17-year-old Graydon Sealy Secondary School (formerly Garrison Secondary) student turned out for the YMPC side in their home match against Banks at Beckles Road last weekend. Rain restricted the contest to just 11 overs, causing the match to be abandoned before Quintyne got the chance to bowl. However, the presence of the talented youngster in the Sagicor Super Cup 50-over competition has made a significant mark in the history of local cricket.
Smith, who has played a role in Quintyne’s development, was the one who took her to practice sessions, where she impressed the YMPC players. He is hoping this move triggers another stage of development in West Indies cricket.
“I hope . . . this is the start of getting other women into other teams in Barbados and hopefully around the Caribbean,” Smith told MIDWEEK SPORT following Saturday’s abandonment.
Smith, a qualified Level 2 coach, expressed full confidence in Quintyne’s ability not only as a leg spin bowler, but with the bat as well.
“I have been following her from the time she started playing so I know for sure that she can bat. I have a lot of confidence in Shaquana going forward in any team that she plays [and in her] making good contributions with the bat as well. It is just for her to get the opportunity,” said Smith, who is also a former student of Graydon Sealy Secondary.
Cricket commentator and writer Elvis Howard, who heads the cricket programme at Graydon Sealy, was especially thrilled at the move to expose Quintyne at this level. He credited cricket coach Richard Clarke with alerting him to Quintyne’s potential during her early days at Graydon Sealy.
“I remember when she first came to the school, Richard Clarke, whom I have a lot of respect for, telephoned me and asked me, begged me, beseeched me to give her the opportunity.
“At first I was a little sceptical because it would have been the first time having a girl play amongst the boys but since she was given that opportunity, she has not looked back,” Howard said.
“If I have one concern, having watched her in the Tri-Nation series, [it’s that] she has to brush up a bit on her fielding.”