…set sights on playing for WI womenBy Frederick HalleyTORONTO, Canada — Chuntell Martin is nicknamed “Thunder” not only for being fearless in life but also for her ferocious batting style.This was quite evident in last year’s women’s final when she produced an innings of immense quality to help Kaisoca Cricket Club women’s team dethrone defending champions Superstars in the Scarborough Cricket Association (SCA) grand finale played at the Ashtonbee ground here.In a brutal display, Martin blasted a stroke-filled 80 as Kaisoca upstaged favourites Superstars in the second edition of the tournament to claim the Caribbean Wave-sponsored winners’ trophy. Her innings, which also earned her the Most Valuable Player award for her team, included 10 fours and five towering sixes.Born and raised in St Vincent & The Grenadines, the 24-year-old Martin harbours hopes of still playing for the West Indies women’s team despite residing in Toronto.In an exclusive interview with Chronicle Sport, the stoutly-built no-nonsense opener, who also bowls medium pace, disclosed that she had a passion for cricket at a very young age since her family, neighbours and friends were all fascinated with the sunshine game.According to Martin, she has an unending love for cricket and is aiming to make a successful career out of it. “My dream is to represent the West Indies and if possible Team Canada. I feel that I have the necessary potential and once I get that chance to represent the West Indies female team it will be a memory of a lifetime.”Martin explained that she was on the verge of representing St Vincent & The Grenadines but migration to Canada hampered her chances. She however continued to pursue the game once in Canada and have played for several clubs, including Malvern before joining Kaisoca Cricket Club in 2011.Following her match-winning performance in last year’s final, Martin was all set and eager to face the MCC women’s team who were scheduled to take on their SCA counterparts in a feature game. That game was however called off by Cricket Canada just a few days before it was scheduled to take place, a decision that not only irked the SCA but also the squad which had undergone rigorous training.A disappointed Martin described how she was ready and prepared to put on a show. “I slept and slept and could not wait for that day to come, then all of a sudden I received emails saying that the game was off. It broke my heart. This is the just a small amount of discrimination the Scarborough women cricketers face…”Despite this setback, Martin is vowing to perform even stronger when the 2017 women’s tournament kicks off on Sunday. “I feel great and I am hoping to bounce back this season, coming harder and stronger and ready to defend our title.”Martin pointed out that last year’s victory was a total team effort and her team is capable of repeating the feat this year. “We are coming out with passion and will be giving it everything we’ve got. We are coming one hundred per cent stronger than we were last summer.”Martin disclosed that preparations are in full swing and after completing indoor practices, they have recently started outdoors at L’Amoreaux ground in Scarborough. “We are doing some running and hitting the gym to ensure we are fit ready to defend our title.”Questioned on the challenges facing women’s cricket in Canada, Martin stressed that unity among the clubs are extremely important while sponsorship is also a major bugbear. She also feels possible tours should be arranged with teams outside of Canada “so that way we can develop greater cricketing skills and knowledge of the game.” She’s also hoping that the West Indies may tour Canada with a view to playing against them.Martin has assured that come June 4, the “Thunder” is all set to roll.