President's remarks at ceremony
ST JOHN'S, ANTIGUA - West Indies Cricket Board President, Dr. The Honourable Julian R Hunte, remarks at the special celebratory ceremony for the West Indies Women’s team, Champers Restaurant, Barbados, March 10, 2013.
I make bold to say that consistency in the West Indian lexicon has now become synonymous with the West Indies Women’s Cricket Team.
Often we hear the term “from-strength-to-strength” being used by cricketers and sportsmen - The West Indies Women’s team epitomizes this term.
A few short years ago the team languished in the bottom rungs of the international ranking. After the completion of the process of fully integrating women’s cricket into the WICB it was the conviction of the Board that the status of Women’s cricket in the region must improve as with all full members of the ICC.
Strategic measures were put into place to identify a core group of players who will form the bulwark of the team. A selection policy was determined - for the first time retainer contracts were implemented - increased numbers of tours and series were organized - special training and preparatory camps were held - a long term Head Coach with support staff was engaged…
Today the team is ranked Number 2 in One Day Internationals and number 4 in Twenty20s – give them a round of applause!
I stand here this evening proud that the West Indies Cricket Board did its part. But all that I have mentioned would have come to nought had it not been for the commitment and unrelenting drive of the players themselves.
And tonight we gather here to pay tribute and honour to these players – CHAMPIONS ALL. They may not have brought the Women’s World Cup trophy home with them, but I have no doubt whatsoever, that in future editions of world tournaments they will return home with trophies aplenty.
For the Ambassadors they are, for their impressive performance in reaching the final of the Women’s World Cup - for their series victories over Sri Lanka - for their dedication towards growth and development - I ask you to join me in standing and give this remarkable and impressive West Indies Women’s Cricket Team, a resounding round of applause.
I wish to recognise, thank and congratulate Captain Merissa Aguilleira - - Her leadership has been inspirational, compassionate and decisive. In Merissa we have a champion woman, a champion cricketer and a champion leader.
I wish too to recognize, thank and congratulate Head Coach Sherwin Campbell for the dedication and hard work he has done in preparing the players for the successes which they have achieved. I must also congratulate Manager Pat Greenidge for her successful and, and very capable management of the Team.
I am obliged to recognize the contributions of Stafanie Taylor, one of the finest players the game has ever seen, Deandra Dottin for her batting par excellence and Anisa Mohammed for the exceptional bowling performances which she continues to produce.
These players, along with the steady contributions of Shemaine Campbelle, Shanel Daley, the veteran Julianna Nero, Tremayne Smartt, June Ann Ogle-Thomas, Subrina Munroe, Shakera Selman and young rising stars like the Knight twins, Shaquana Quintyne and Natasha McLean will continue to do the West Indies Cricket family and the entire Caribbean region proud - Of this I have no doubt.
I wish to take this opportunity to recognise the contributions of former players, upon whose shoulders and achievements these current players stand.
I recognize legendary players such as Vivalyn Latty-Scott, Ann Browne-John, Nadine George, Pam Lavine, Stephanie Power and Cordell Jack.
And then there are players such as Stacy-Ann King and Pearl Ettienne and others who have made valuable contributions as well.
Finally I must recognise Mr Tony Howard who, when he was Director of Cricket of the WICB championed the cause of the women and Directors Jennifer Nero and Dr Allen Sammy who unrelentingly champion your cause at the level of the Board of Directors. I would say that their efforts are second only to my own, for the West Indies Women’s Team holds a special place in my heart.
West Indies Women’s cricket is stronger now than it has ever been but we have further to go and I look forward with great anticipation for the future achievements of our West Indies Women’s Team.
On behalf of the Board of Directors, the management and staff and the entire West Indies Cricket family I congratulate each of you – players and support staff – for your work and your achievements but especially for how well you played in the ICC Women’s World Cup, for the champion performances and for reaching the final. You have made us proud as you continue to excel on the world stage.
Here’s to going one step further next time.
In closing I wish to assure the West Indies Men’s Team that this “welcome home” reception is now institutionalised and as such applies to them equally.
Unfortunately it was not possible to do this after winning the World Twenty-Twenty Championship as the Players went off in different directions around the world from Sri Lanka; however I was pleased to have been in Sri Lanka as I was able to host a celebratory function for the team on the night of the win…
I thank you…."