“Deandra is a game-changer whether she’s with bat, ball or in the field” – Anisa Mohammed!
These words from West Indies offspinner Anisa Mohammed, perfectly sum up Deandra Dottin as a cricketer. The self-proclaimed World Boss, who debuted for the Windies women in 2008, has been just that for her international side, and for any side she represents when she takes the field. A powerful batter, a canny bowler and an electric fielder, Deandra Dottin is the classic all action allrounder, one who, in light of her shock retirement announcement in July, will be sorely missed in Windies colours.
Many in Barbados would have first heard the name Deandra Dottin around the athletics circuit. Dottin dominated the Javelin, Shot Put and Discus for many years at the Barbados Secondary Schools Athletic Championships (BSSAC) before taking that domination to the regional stage at the CARIFTA games, where in 2007 she did an unprecedented triple, winning Gold in all three disciplines as an Under 17 athlete.
Those who know of her talent in athletics would not have been crazy to think that this powerfully built young woman could have taken her talents on the world stage to a World Championships or even an Olympics, but ultimately in 2008, she decided on a career in cricket.
Many have commented on how her athletic abilities (she also dabbled in sprinting) made her into the cricketer she is today, enhancing her prowess with the bat, ball and in the field.
Deandra Dottin debuted for the West Indies in 2008. Since then, she played 267 matches for the West Indies, and had the honour of captaining the side once in ODIs in 2021.
When looking at her ODI record especially, her batting and bowling averages are more than decent for an allrounder, especially when you consider she played in a team that doesn’t often win.
Table 1: Deandra Dottin’s International Record
What makes her retirement announcement an even more bitter pill to swallow is that fact that Dottin was enjoying her most prolific run of form with that bat in ODIs.
Since 2019, she scored 1023 runs in 29 matches at an average of 40, with two of her three hundreds coming during this period.
Despite enjoying a fourteen-year career, it has not always been smooth sailing for the allrounder. When looking at her bowling average in both ODIs and T20Is, one should consider that her bowling was severely hampered over the last few years. In early 2019, she experienced an almost career-ending shoulder injury that kept her out of the side for a long time.
This was not an easy obstacle for Dottin to overcome, and she struggled a lot during this period. She relied on friends, family and fellow cricketers to help her through and, as symptomatic of the character she has, she battled her way back from this injury and became an even better batter, though she only bowled on a limited basis (only bowled 11 overs in international cricket in the three years prior to the 2022 ICC Cricket World Cup).
14 years. 270 games. With a career like Dottin’s, an entire article would need to be dedicated to all of her most memorable moments in a West Indies shirt. For now, here are a few:Dottin became the first woman to score a century in T20Is in 2010 during a World T20 match against South Africa.
This same century, which came off 38 balls and included 5 fours and 9 sizes, remains the fastest in women’s international T20s.
She became one of the first women in West Indies cricket to be awarded a Grade A contract.
She played a stellar role in helping West Indies win their first major international trophy: the World T20 in 2016. Dottin took 9 wickets in 6 games at an average of 13.55 and chipped in with 129 useful runs.
In this same tournament, Dottin bowled a game-defining over in the final. In the last over of Australia’s innings, she conceded just one run and took two wickets, helping to restrict the defending champions to 148/5, a target which was chased down by the Windies.
Game defining overs was a Dottin specialty. Most recently, ahead of the final over against New Zealand in the ICC Cricket World Cup tournament opener in 2022, Dottin said to captain Stafanie Taylor “skip, I want the ball, give me the ball,” despite being short of bowling (both in-game and in training).
She went on to only concede two runs off this final over, taking two wickets and helping to effect a run out, leading the Windies to a massive upset win over hosts New Zealand.
Ultimately, this game was crucial to the Windies making, and New Zealand missing out on the semi-finals.
On July 31, 2022, Deandra Dottin posted the above image on her Twitter page, announcing that she had retired from West Indies duty effective July 1st, almost 14 years to the day of her international debut. Her decision was met with shock in the Caribbean and across the international cricketing world, especially since at age 31, Dottin still has so much to offer the women’s game and West Indies cricket as one of the most explosive allrounders.
One of the most eye-catching aspects of her statement was the repetition of how the team culture and environment are not conducive for her to thrive and have undermined her ability to perform excellently.
For now, only those closest to Dottin – friends, family and maybe teammates – will know what she is referring to.
Speculation around the world of cricket is rife: was there an issue in the coaching set up? Fellow teammates? Or the overall administration?
Fans may or may not get the answers that they crave but in the meantime the nature and timing of the announcement should not take away from what has been a stellar international career.
One scant consolation is that though her international career is over, Dottin still has the hunger to continue to play cricket across the world.
Therefore, at least the domestic game will still have the talents of the WoR£d B¤$$.
Congrats on a great international career, Deandra.