Gros Islet: West Indies women's all-rounder Stafanie Taylor has issued a rallying cry around the Caribbean for cricket fans to come out in force to support their team in Friday's crucial semi-final showdown with New Zealand in St Lucia.
Taylor, who noticed the passionate St Lucian crowd witness heartache on Tuesday night as the West Indies men's team was knocked out of the tournament by Australia, has reminded everyone that the region still has a team left in the event.
"We would love the people of the West Indies and, in particular, St Lucia, to come out and support us on Friday," said 18-year-old Taylor.
"We need the support and I can promise that we will give everything we have in an effort to get to the final. We want persons to come along in big, big numbers and bring their cheers just as they would for the guys.
"We will be spurred on by persons shouting and cheering us along the way. It will make a big difference and would mean a lot to all of us," she said.
The Jamaican feels that those in the West Indies who do not watch women's cricket regularly will be impressed by the high standard and quality of players on show.
"I think people will be surprised by how good women's cricket is these days. We train hard, we play hard and there is a lot of talent in the West Indies. It won't be easy playing against New Zealand because they have some good players. They will come hard at us and we must respond in the same way. It will hard cricket against hard cricket and it should be good to watch.
"Being in the final would give us a great boost. I know everyone in Barbados would come out to watch us. But for now we have to focus on the semi-final against New Zealand and I am hopeful that cricket fans in St Lucia give us their full support."
In an initiative designed to promote women's cricket, the semi-finals and final of the women's section run as double-headers with the men's equivalent with the matches being televised live around the globe.
The first semi-final takes place at Beausejour Cricket Stadium, St Lucia, on Thursday between Australia and India with play getting under way at 1600. The following day it will be the turn of Taylor and her team-mates to give the home crowd something to cheer about as they take on the White Ferns at the same venue and start time.