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Aguilleira eager to lead TT in South Africa

By JONATHAN RAMNANANSINGH Tuesday, March 19 2013

AFTER a hectic, but successful campaign with the West Indies Women’s team in Sri Lanka recently, captain Merissa Aguilleira has now shifted her focus towards leading the national team at the tour of South Africa between April 3-19.

The wicketkeeper/ batsman and her teammates are still on a high after securing an impressive 2-1 victory in the One-Day International as well as a 4-1 triumph at the Twenty20 Series against the Sri Lankans.

After being publicly celebrated in a motorcade on Friday last by her Member of Parliament Clifton De Coteau (Moruga), the Life Sport programme, community members and family Aguilleira revealed that she is ready to once again represent the red, white and black for the first time this year.

The 27-year-old expressed delight to be suiting up in national colours and welcomed the challenge that faces the TT women in next month’s South African series. Even though she led the West Indies to victories against Sri Lanka and India, Aguilleira admitted that leading the national team will always require varied styles of leadership.

“Its all about adjusting yourself. I must say that I’ve been doing a lot with the cricket and going back to playing for my country is something that I’ve always loved doing. Its all about applying yourself, and the people around me also help make my captaincy job a bit easier. The coaches and management staff, together with the players always go out there and do what they have to do. And we’ve been doing that pretty well so its all about consistency,” Aguilleira explained.

In February, the Marac-bred cricketer led the regional women’s team to the World Cup final against Australia. And although the WI women lost the final, Aguilleira was pleased with her recent string of international performances.

She heaped praises on the West Indies and the Trinidad and Tobago Cricket Board (TTCB) for planning these tours and matches with such cricketing nations. The right-handed batsman commended both the Caribbean and national fraternities for keeping women’s cricket alive and significantly assisting in further developing the region’s players.

“The national team has been doing really well. I think the Board has been doing a lot of extensive work by going out and having some international tours. So every two years we go outside and play. Two years ago we played against England, so it’s all about exposure and getting the girls ready for regional tournaments. Once we get ourselves ready, we can defeat Jamaica eventually,” she continued.

With the likes of Alisa Mohammed, Stacy Ann-King and Gaitri Seetahal, the national team boasts some experienced players for the upcoming tour. Newsday understand that spinner Anisa Mohammed who is the twin sister of Alisa, is currently recovering from an injuries she sustained during the World Cup and was not considered for selection.

Newcomers to the national team are Chantal Emmanuel, Rackeal Bissoon, Samantha Bissoon and Selene O’Neil.



TT Women’s Team for South Africa Tour: Merissa Aguilleira (captain), Shenelle Lord (vice captain), Alisa Mohammed, Amanda Samaroo, Britney Cooper, Chantal Emmanuel, Felicia Walters, Gaitri Seetahal, Kirbyina Alexander, Lee Ann Kirby, Rackeal Bissoon, Samantha Bissoon, Selene O’Neil, Stacy Ann-King, Marjorie Thomas (manager/coach), John Trumpet (assistant coach), Wayne Samuel (trainer).

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