Making history is nothing new for Kycia and Kyshona Knight but the Barbados identical twins are relishing breaking fresh ground together at the Commonwealth Games.
Cricket is back at the Games after 24 years and while a men’s 50-over tournament was held in Kuala Lumpur in 1998, the upcoming event which starts on Friday in Birmingham is Twenty20 and exclusively for women.
A rematch of the 2020 T20 World Cup final between Australia and India – which attracted nearly 90,000 into the Melbourne Cricket Ground – serves as the opener at Edgbaston, but later on in the day in Group A is Pakistan taking on Barbados, who were selected as the only representatives from the Caribbean.
The opportunity to continue being trailblazers appeals to the Knight sisters, the first pair of twins to represent the West Indies, who are understandably looking forward to the next few days.
“Often times when we have meetings we’ll say that the men play a lot more cricket and have so much more opportunities than women,” Kycia told the PA news agency.
“This is a really good initiative in getting female cricket out there all over the world. These are very exciting times for female cricket.
“I think this will be the only time where we have a tournament where it’s just a women’s aspect of it. That’s really, really good for us and I’m really, really excited about it.
“To have your twin sister here to share an experience will go down in history, that’s a huge achievement for us.”
Kyshona agreed, adding: “I don’t think many years ago we would have expected to be at a Commonwealth Games playing cricket. It’s a big achievement for us as a team to represent Barbados and the region.”
Kycia, whose career has included 84 one-day internationals and 64 T20s, and Kyshona, who has featured in 47 ODIs and 46 T20s, are not the only twins in the Barbados squad, with 21-year-olds Shai and Shaunte Carrington, both uncapped at international level, also present.
The Knights concurred they “do practically everything together”, with the only difference between the 30-year-olds being their opinion on seafood as Kycia said: “Kyshona loves it and I cannot tolerate it.”
But Kyshona chuckled: “Shai and Shaunte are worse than us. They actually wear the same thing every single day. Every day. Down to wristbands, socks, everything.”
A qualifier between several Windies nations was supposed to take place to determine the Commonwealth Games entrant but had to be postponed because of the Covid-19 pandemic, with Barbados selected because at the time they were the reigning champions of the regional T20 competition.
Windies regulars Deandra Dottin and Hayley Matthews are also part of the Barbados squad but while they are unfancied to reach the semi-finals, Kycia and Kyshona insist the islanders can leave their mark.
“We will definitely be coming to upset a team because we already know we’re the underdogs in the cricketing aspect,” Kycia said.
Kyshona added: “If we can upset one or two teams, that would be huge for us.”
Australia, as defending champions of both white-ball World Cups, come into this competition as favourites to land gold but England fast bowler Katherine Brunt feels the volatility of T20 gives other sides a chance.
Brunt, whose England side take on Sri Lanka in their Group B opener on Saturday night, added: “It is such a short format and anything can happen. One 10-minute passage of play can change a game and that’s the same for everyone.
“Australia, in my opinion, are less likely to win this than they are a 50-over tournament. It’s anyone’s tournament and it can be anyone’s day at any time.”