Two West Indian umpires have been named to stand in the qualification tournament for the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) Women’s Cricket World Cup 2017.
Leslie Reifer Jr. and Jacqueline Williams will be among the international officials for the 50-over event to be played in Sri Lanka from February 7 to 21.
Reifer, aged 27, is one of the youngest international umpires in West Indies history. He made his international debut last year when West Indies played against India in the Twenty20 Series in the United States.
Williams is the only female umpire on the regional senior umpires’ panel. The 40-year-old has officiated in several major men’s and women’s tournament, before including ICC World T20 women’s qualifiers and ICC Division 5 and the WICB Regional 4-Day and WICB Regional Super50.
Both are pleased to be involved in the ICC qualifiers and are eagerly looking forward to the experience of cricket in Sri Lanka for the first time.
“This is my first tournament with the ICC so I am really looking forward to it – the experience of standing in an international tournament, as well the culture and atmosphere of Sri Lanka,” Reifer said.
“For me this is a major step in my career. I value every opportunity I get to stand at any level of the game. Women’s cricket is growing rapidly in the West Indies and all around the world, and the standard of play is very high. I am hoping to learn more about the game contribute in a meaningful way.”
Williams started her career back in 2006 and has progressed through the ranks.
She said: “I’m delighted to be named among the umpires for this tournament. It’s a major tournament in women’s cricket with some of the best players in the world. All the appointments I have been on are stepping stones and I have welcomed all with open arms. I always find something to work on and improve. There is a lot to learn as an umpire.”
Additionally, Williams said: “going to Sri Lanka, I have been doing my homework, looking at the conditions, the weather and other aspects of the game so I know what to expect before I reach there. It’s somewhere different but I’m happy to be involved and hoping to give my very best.
She noted: “Whatever I do in cricket as an umpire, I always remember that I’m not doing it for myself but for people of the Caribbean and the upliftment of the game. I would like to encourage other women, who love the game, to seriously consider taking up umpiring. I find it quite enjoyable.”
West Indies Women have already qualified for the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup 2017 which will be played from June 26 to July 23. The final will be at Lord’s, Bristol and Derby will host the semi-finals while Leicester and Taunton are the other venues.
(Taken from windiescricket.com)