Aguilleira: Windies full of ambition
Bridgetown, Barbados – Captain Merissa Aguilleira believes that West Indies women’s cricket is on the rise and she is predicting “big things” for her team in the near future.
The inspirational skipper said her players have their eyes set on winning the ICC Women’s World Cup in India next year, as well as making a charge up the ICC Players rankings.
Before the World Cup, the Windies will host South Africa in a seven-match series – five One-Day International and two T20 Internationals.
The full match schedule will be announced shortly. Currently, the West Indies women’s squad is encamped at the Sagicor High Performance Centre and will be there until December 15.
The Windies have showed progress since the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) took over the running of the game five years ago. Under the captaincy of Aguilleira and guidance of Head Coach Sherwin Campbell, the West Indies reached the semi-finals of the ICC World T20 on two consecutive occasions – 2010 when the event was played in the Caribbean and two months ago in Sri Lanka.
“We have developed quite rapidly as a team and credit must be given to the WICB for putting things in place for us as players and as a team. This camp is a perfect example of the commitment to the development of women’s cricket. We will be together for a month and we have already seen the benefits,” Aguilleira said.
“We are hitting all areas in our game and we know that we can reach the next level. We believe that we are on the right track and we aim to continue. We want to be the best team in the world and we know we have the players capable of taking us there. The World Cup in India is the next big occasion. We saw what happened when the men won the World T20 in Sri Lanka and we want that feeling. We want to be world champions too, not just for us, but for the people of the Caribbean.”
Reflecting on the ICC Women’s World T20 in Sri Lanka, Aguilleira noted: “I was disappointed that we did not reach the final of the World T20. It was a case of being so close and yet so far. But we didn’t let that get us down for too long, we bounced back quickly and we are here in camp to build towards the World Cup,” she said.
“At the previous World T20 in the Caribbean, we were second in our group. This time around in Sri Lanka we topped our group, so that was an improvement in itself. We beat New Zealand for the first time in T20 cricket and that was a plus for us. We fought as a team and that team spirit and fight will take us to India. There are good things to take out of our performance...we are planning for bigger things...we are looking forward to bigger things.”
The West Indies have been dominant at home. Last year they beat Pakistan and earlier this year won series against India and Sri Lanka on home turf.
Looking ahead to the home series against South Africa, Aguilleira noted: “I spoke to the girls and we know we are capable of beating South Africa. We beat them in the World T20 and that is our focus, to beat them again. At the same time, we want to make sure that we make progress and tick all the right boxes that we need to before we head off to India and face the best that the world has to offer.”
Several Windies players are ranked among the best in the world. Stafanie Taylor is the Number 1 allrounder, copping the prestigious ICC Women’s Player of the Year award in 2011.
Deandra Dottin holds the world record for the fastest century in a T20 International by men or women, while allrounder Shanel Daley and off-spinner Anisa Mohammed are ranked in the Top 10.
The ICC Women’s World Cup India 2013 will be held in Mumbai from January 31 to February 17. The tournament will feature the top eight ODI women’s sides in the world – Australia, England, India, New Zealand, Pakistan, South Africa, Sri Lanka and West Indies.
The matches will be played at five venues across Mumbai, which are: Wankhede Stadium, Bandra Kurla Complex (BKC), Cricket Club of India (CCI), Middle Income Group Club Ground (MIG) and DY Patil Stadium.
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