STEPHON NICHOLAS and NICKOLAI MADRAY
MERISSA AGUILLEIRA was named the international and regional Women's Player of the Year at the TT Women's Cricket Association (TTWCA) 2018 awards function, held at the Touch and Taste Restaurant, California, Sunday.
Moosai Ladies snatched the majority of the awards in the Premiership division, by claiming eight titles in the category, while Cricket Divas made their presence known in the Championship Division, walking away with six accolades on the day.
Aguilleira had 19 dismissals behind the stumps for both club and country, while also contributing 214 runs.
Speaking to Newsday yesterday, Aguilleira said 2018 was a challenge but she was pleased with her achievements.
"I think my year was a good one. It was really challenging, had some hectic times preparing for the World Cup, so we spent most of our time in Antigua knowing we had to stay away from our families and things we had personally. It was worth it though," she said.
Asked about her goals for 2019, the 32 year old said: "To definitely continue working hard in light of my batting. In the ODI department, I want to carry up my average (20.61). I'll definitely be focusing on that. Once I'm given my chance in T20, I'll continue what I'm doing because I think I've done well there," she said.
Aguilleira, who was surprisingly dropped to the bench for the entire 2018 ICC World T20 Tournament, said she held no hard feelings about being overlooked.
"Everybody always views things differently. I'm at a point where I'm really focused – I'm not distracted. It's always ups and downs, you just have to stay focused, Things can be distracting and disappointing. It was an experience staying on the sidelines. I was really thankful for the opportunity even though I was not on the field. A lot of players say they felt my presence still," she said.
How was she able to cope with the obvious disappointment of not playing a single World Cup game even though the tournament was in the Caribbean?
"My belief in God definitely helped me because I really trust His process. It's something I really hold dear to my heart," she said.
Moosai's Lee Ann Kirby and Steffi Soogrim of Achievers were crowned Player of the Year for the Premiership and Championship divisions respectively. Kirby had an outstanding season throughout the Premiership, finishing with 804 runs along with 40 wickets on her way to the title. Similarly in the Championship division, Soogrim delivered an all-rounded display of her talent by scoring 118 runs and taking 27 wickets for Achievers.
Cricket Divas' trio of Salisha Heraldo, Trisha Marquis and Stacey Bolah each received awards for their league performances. Heraldo showcased her skills with the ball during the campaign and secured the most wickets title, ending with 14 in total. Heraldo also received the award for most wickets in a game when she finished with the best figures of four wickets for 12 runs. Her teammate Marquis collected the title for most runs after tallying 163 runs and the highest individual score for her century earlier in the season. Bolah ended the season with the best batting average as Cricket Divas won the Championship division and gained promotion into the Premiership.
Moosai dominated the awards for their division, despite Hibiscus winning the league title. Amanda Samaroo's 118 runs got her the highest individual score in a game as she ended the season with an unbeatable 449 runs for the Moosai Ladies. Samaroo ended the year with a total of 715 runs for both club and country, along with 29 wickets.
Aguilleira will be the nominee to the First Citizens Awards.
CHAMPIONSHIP DIVISION –
Most Wickets - Rian Ramharack (Waterloo)
Most Runs - Nidia Andrews (Just for kix)
Winner - UWI
Highest Individual Score - Nidia Andrews (56 not out)
Most Runs - Sylvia Bolah 151 (Cricket Divas)
Batting Average - Latoya Garraway (UWI)
Most Wickets - Aaliyah Williams (Waterloo)
Bowling Average - Shanta Roopchand (Achievers)
Most Wickets in a game - Shanta Roopchand (5 for 9)
Winner - Preysal Achievers
Highest Individual Score - Trisha Marquis (Cricket Divas)
Most Runs - Trisha Marquis (Cricket Divas)
Batting Average - Stacy Bolah (Cricket Divas)
Most Wickets - Salisha Heraldo (Cricket Divas)
Bowling Average - Steffi Soogrim (Achievers)
Most Wickets in a game - Salisha Heraldo (Cricket Divas)
Winner - Cricket Divas
Player of the Year (Championship) - Steffie Soogrim (Achievers)
PREMIERSHIP DIVISION –
Most Wickets - Kamara Ragoobar (Moosai)
Most Runs - Lee Ann Kirby (Moosai)
Winner - Moosai Ladies
Highest Individual Score - Lee Ann Kirby (73 runs)
Most Runs - Jodian Morgan (Technocrats)
Batting Average - Jodian Morgan (Technocrats)
Most Wickets - Karishma Ramharack (Moosai)
Bowling Average - Karishma Ramharack (Moosai)
Most Wickets in a game - Jodian Morgan (5 for 9)
Winner - Technocrats
Highest Individual Score - Amanda Samaroo (Moosai)
Most Runs - Amanda Samaroo (Moosai)
Batting Average - Rachel Vincent (Hibiscus)
Most Wickets - Leandrea Ramdeen (Pheonix)
Bowling Average - Allison Collins (Hibiscus)
Most Wickets in a game - Amanda Samaroo (Moosai)
Winner - Hibiscus
Most Disciplined Player - Steffi Soogrim
Most Promising Player -Anjali Goordeen
Most Improved Player - Shania Abdool
Player of the year (Premiership) - Lee Ann Kirby
National/Regional Player of the Year - Merissa Aguilleira