West Indies’ Stafanie Taylor Recalls T20 World Cup Victory Eight Years On

Stafanie Taylor Relives T20 World Cup Triumph 8 Years Later

West Indies’ Stafanie Taylor Recalls T20 World Cup Victory Eight Years On

Written by Jonathan Healy

Stafanie Taylor, the West Indies cricket legend, confessed that she still gets goosebumps when she watches the highlights of her team’s unforgettable victory in the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup 2016. As she gears up for another title run this year in Bangladesh, she reflects on that memorable win.

In an interview with ICC Digital on the eight-year anniversary of the West Indies’ T20 World Cup triumph in 2016, the 32-year-old all-rounder vividly recalled the significance of that victory for her and her teammates.

Despite Australia being the clear favourites, having won the three previous editions of the tournament, Taylor and a young Hayley Matthews led the Caribbean side to a surprise victory with a 120-run opening stand.

Highlights: Australia v West Indies, Women's World T20 Final 2016

An 18-year-old Matthews took the highly-rated Australia bowling team by storm, scoring 66 off just 45 deliveries. Meanwhile, Taylor played a more measured innings of 59, helping the West Indies chase down 149 for victory with three balls to spare.

This victory was a fitting reward for Taylor and the West Indies, who had previously fallen at the semi-final stage of the T20 World Cup in three previous editions. Taylor revealed that this victory still holds a special place in her heart.

“Watching the clips (highlights of T20 World Cup final), I still get goosebumps. I can’t believe we pulled off something like that,” Taylor said.

“It was a special one. We had worked so hard for years leading up to that, and we had come close in semi-finals, only to get knocked out. So, it was really nice to finally overcome that hurdle and come away with a victory.”

While Taylor was the star of the 2016 T20 World Cup, finishing as the leading run-scorer with 246 runs, it was Matthews’ innings in the final that marked the emergence of a new star in women’s cricket.

Hayley Matthews blitzkrieg downs Australia in the Final | T20WC 2016

Taylor was aware of Matthews’ capabilities with the bat leading into the final against Australia at Eden Gardens. Despite Matthews not having scored a T20I half-century for her side prior to the innings, Taylor decided to let Matthews play her natural game, a decision that paid off as the West Indies pulled off a remarkable victory.

“I remember thinking to myself, because she was so young before the finals, ‘I’m going to have a chat with her’ to probably calm her nerves down. But something in the back of my mind just said, ‘Just leave her. Just let her go play’,” Taylor recalled.

“Watching her from the other end, it was just flawless. She took out all the bowlers. Honestly, I don’t think I actually had to do much. I just wanted her to express herself and not have all of these jitters just before a big final like that. And if anything, I was there to give her the support that she needed.”

“The way she went about her game, I’ve never seen anything like it. She was just hitting balls left, right and centre. Every time I think back, I always get chills,” Taylor added.

Taylor also acknowledged the support she received from her male counterparts prior to the final in 2016, who themselves were just hours from claiming their second ICC Men’s T20 World Cup title at the same venue.

“I remember (West Indies men’s captain at the time) Daren Sammy was always texting me, supporting me and telling me, ‘Listen, you guys are going to do well, just go out there and let it all out’,” Taylor said.

“And I remember when we won, they actually ran on the field as well. So when we saw it, we knew that we actually had the support from them even before. But it was really for them to actually come over and share in our celebration. So that was good.”