Afy Fletcher: The story of a West Indies cricketer and new mother

West Indies cricketer Afy Fletcher

By Brandon Corlette

A mother is she who can take the place of all others but whose place no one else can take.
Being a West Indies cricketer is a challenge by itself, especially now, with the restrictions in place. But 35-year-old West Indies Women’s cricketer, Afy Fletcher, has now entered the journey of motherhood while she continues to play cricket.

Prior to the South Africa tour and ICC Women’s World Cup in New Zealand, Afy had her last international outing for West Indies in September 2020. She made a return until February 2022 after she gave birth to a bouncing baby boy in Grenada.

During this Mother’s Day special, Fletcher spoke about the challenges she faces while being an international cricketer and a mother. She also had some advice for prospective mothers, who are cricketers.

“I had to leave for tournament, so the baby did not come with me. It was a challenge there for me not having baby around, and as a new mother, the love you develop and bond you develop, then having to leave your child to continue your career, it is kind of a hard one. You do not want to leave your child, but you understand the circumstances. Another challenge is that if you have to train, you have to let the baby stay, since he is not yet old enough to come with me, so that is one of the challenges, finding a routine to train,” Fletcher explained.

“Being a mother is an incredible feeling, it is a wonderful feeling. It is a change in your life, there is a difference in terms of your routine and your lifestyle and everything. So having a baby, it is indescribable. It brings a lot of love and different feeling in your life,” the leg-spinner with 109 international wickets said.

West Indies cricketer Afy Fletcher doing her signature “calling the baby on the telephone” celebration at the World Cup

When asked if she entertained thoughts about her career coming to an end after she found out that she was about to become a mother, Afy said: “To be honest I was wondering what would have taken place. I don’t know if it would be over, or if I would continue, because being pregnant is also challenge, you do not know the outcome, if it could end your career or if you could continue so. I was thinking and pondering, so I made up my mind that whatever road it went I would have to accept whether my career would end or continue.”

While it is a challenge to have a regular routine to train, leaving her baby to travel to New Zealand was a difficult choice for Fletcher.

West Indies entered the tournament after playing the qualifiers but eventually reached the semi-final. Fletcher, who had figures of 3-29 against Bangladesh was seen with her trademark “calling the baby on the telephone” celebration.

“The girls were like you have to get a celebration, so they said do the baby rock. So I said no it is too popular. Since I always talk {to my baby] via telephone, whether Facetime or WhatsApp, I said let me try this one and see. Show that this is the way me and him communicate and that I know he can’t watch me as yet, but because of the time difference, but later on the future it will create a memory so that he could see as he grow older, and when people tell him things, he can go and look and see those memories created.”

Additionally, Fletcher said at some point in her career, she hopes to take her son on international cricket tours. She also left some advice for prospective mothers who are sportswomen.

“To be honest, I would say to them, if you want to go in motherhood, it is a good thing, it will not stop you to play the game. You have to plan properly, and know what you want. Go for it and do what you have to do, it will get easy as you go through the process,” Fletcher added.