FORMER West Indies women’s captain and wicket-keeper Merissa Aguilleira commended Cricket West Indies (CWI) and the Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL) for the decisions made recently, saying women’s cricket is heading in the right direction.
Aguilleira, who retired earlier this year, praised CWI for hiring former West Indies Women’s cricketer Ann Browne-John as head selector for the Women’s cricket team – the first time a woman will lead a selection panel in the West Indies.
In the 2019 CPL that concluded on Saturday, two women’s T10 exhibition matches were played during the playoffs in an effort to bring more awareness to the women’s game in the region.
Speaking with Newsday yesterday, Aguilleira said CWI made a great decision in hiring Browne-John for the job, the “grandmother” of cricket.
“I think the West Indies Cricket Board could not have made a better decision by having her there. She has been around for a while. I heard (Dr Kishore) Shallow mention that she is the grandmother of women’s cricket and that is true. She is pretty much aware of cricket, she runs the cricket in TT (and) she has been really instrumental in a lot of players’ lives.”
Aguilleira said because Browne-John is a past player and a former manager of the West Indies Women’s team, she has the ability to get the job done saying, “She is the perfect person for the job.”
The former wicket-keeper agrees with the decision by CWI to have three separate selection panels in West Indies cricket – men’s panel, women’s/girls panel and a boys panel. “I have experienced that when you at camps and you not seeing the selectors around, so it is good to see that they could split it up so everybody could have their undivided attention.”
Aguilliera, who did TV commentary during the women’s T10 matches, said, “I was really pleased about that initiative, I think it is something that really needs to be done. Even though the TT Women’s Cricket Association (TTWCA), we have our T20 franchise happening, but it is really good to see CPL on board.”
For the past two years, the TTWCA has held the Courts T20 Grand Slam featuring women’s cricketers in the region.
The 2016 Women’s World T20 winner said the region has to keep up with other countries. “If you look at the other countries, they have the Kia League (England) and the Big Bash (Australia), so it is always good to make sure that you are on top of things and you are keeping up with the other teams. The development of their cricket is way ahead of West Indies cricket and it is something that we really need to pay attention to and make sure we are on par as well with the development of women’s cricket.”