Home Sports Battling diabetes and playing cricket: Hayley Matthews
West Indies female player Hayley Matthews is an overcomer. At age 12, Matthews was diagnosed with diabetes. During the recently concluded ICC Women’s World Cup, Matthews opened up on playing cricket with diabetes.
The 22-year-old Matthews recalled that one summer she was on vacation with her family, and found herself going to the bathroom “maybe five times in the night, eight/nine times in the day; drinking a whole lot of water,” Matthews disclosed in a Cricket West Indies (CWI) interview.
She disclosed that her father, who is also a diabetic, was the first to figure out the symptoms.
Matthews highlighted that
this has been a challenging journey; but, for her, it’s about good management.
At the inception, the talented Barbadian, who played 93 matches for West Indies across formats, noted that there was nothing that was going to stop her from playing the game she loves, cricket.
The right-handed top-order batter and off-spinner made her debut in 2014 for the West Indies. Her team mates are fully aware of her condition, and they know what to expect. Matthews has represented the West Indies in 43 ODIs and has 1046 runs to her credit. She has one century and four half-centuries.
She has participated in exactly 50 T20 matches, and has a high-score of 107, with one century and four half-centuries.
Matthews, who has been in the top-rankings for an all-rounder, has been a top off-spinner over the years. She has taken 45 and 46 wickets in ODIs and T20s respectively.
Matthews has been recognized as one of the talented players from the Caribbean. She featured in the Women’s exhibition matches in India, the Kia Super League in England, and the Women’s Big Bash in Australia.
Matthews had captained 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 off-breaks 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.
Of the players on either side of the competition, Matthews was the one who took the most wickets 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.
Matthews is certainly defying all odds and making the most in her cricket career.