By the time she was 11, Hayley Matthews was captaining her boys school team; by the time she was 12, she had made her debut for the Barbados senior women’s team. Faced with a choice between track and field and cricket – she won a gold medal for javelin at the 2015 CARIFTA Games – Matthews, fortunately for West Indies, chose cricket, and subsequently made her international debut in September 2014 in a Twenty20 against New Zealand.
Her ODI debut, against Australia, swiftly followed, and Matthews impressed right from the outset, making 55 in the first game and a total of 241 runs – the highest for West Indies – in the four-match series. Her offbreaks also proved effective: her first international wicket, in the first T20I of the tour of Australia, was Meg Lanning, and she went on to take 3 for 26 in that game. Matthews was the highest wicket-taker from either side in both the ODIs and T20Is during West Indies’ 2015 tour of Sri Lanka.
She was a surprise selection in the inaugural Women’s Big Bash League, sought after by Hobart Hurricanes as one of their overseas players; her standout performance in the competition was a 51-ball 77 against Melbourne Stars, but more importantly, she worked with coach Julia Price and gained invaluable experience against international opponents.
It was an undertaking that was to serve her well in the 2016 Women’s World T20, where she would make her name. Matthews made her most telling performance in the final, where West Indies were up against three-time champions Australia. Having had her 18th birthday in the middle of the tournament, Matthews took on the Australian bowlers with the audacity of youth, hitting 66 off 45 balls to help her team chase down 149 and win their first world title.
Hayley uses Trident Sports Debutante