Windies girls off to South Africa, captain confident of success

Bridgetown, Barbados - The members of the West Indies team were full of confidence on Saturday as they left the Caribbean for the ICC Women's Challenge, which will be played in Potchefstroom, South Africa later this month. Speaking ahead of the team's departure, captain Merissa Aguilleira said all systems were in place for the girls to perform at their best during the tournament – which features 50-0ver and 20/20 matches.

“We had a wonderful camp and the girls have been saying to me how happy they are with the way things have gone so far. We know this is just the start of what will be a long journey and we are confident it will be a successful journey. The last time we played as a team was in the ICC World T20 and we made some big steps forward – reaching the semi-finals. This time around we will aim to continue the improvement and make more steps forward,” the 24-year-old wicket-keeper said.

“We don’t have a lot of time when we reach to get acclimatized so we have to buckle down from early. It will be a close tournament so every game will matter. We are playing against teams that are ranked below us, but they are all very good teams and we can’t take anything for granted. We have to make sure we are at our best. We had some tough battles with South Africa in recent years and they always come hard at us. Pakistan and Sri Lanka are also very competitive so the upcoming series promises to be exciting for the players and the fans.”

Aguilleira is making a comeback to competitive cricket following knee surgery. She has not played since the World T20 tournament. Her rehabilitation went well and she’s happy to be back at the helm of West Indies women’s cricket.

“I want to say a special thanks to the West Indies Cricket Board for looking out for me and making sure I had the surgery. I also want to thank the doctors and therapists who worked with me when I was away from the game. As a keeper I had to make sure that everything was fully back in place before I made my comeback and I was really touched by the amount of assistance I got from so many people. It feels really good to know you have the support of people out there.”

FULL SQUAD:
Merissa Aguilleira (Trinidad and Tobago) Captain/Wicket-keeper
Anisa Mohammed (Trinidad and Tobago) Vice Captain
Shemaine Campbell (Guyana) Wicket-keeper
Britney Cooper (Trinidad and Tobago)
Shanel Daley (Jamaica)
Deandra Dottin (Barbados)
Pearl Etienne (Dominica)
Cordel Jack (St Vincent and the Grenadines)
Stacy-Ann King (Trinidad and Tobago)
Subrina Munroe (Guyana)
Juliana Nero (St Vincent and the Grenadines)
Shakera Selman (Barbados)
Tremayne Smartt (Guyana)
Stafanie Taylor (Jamaica)
TEAM MANAGEMENT: Josina Luke (Manager), Sherwin Campbell (Coach), Stephanie Power (Assistant Coach), Jacqui King-Mowatt (physiotherapist), Shannon Lashley (strength and fitness co-ordinator)

FIXTURES
One-Day Internationals

October 6 – Pakistan v Ireland (NWU 1); West Indies v Netherlands (Witrand); South Africa v Sri Lanka (Senwes)
October 7 – Netherlands v Sri Lanka (NWU 1); Ireland v West Indies (NWU 2); Pakistan v South Africa (Witrand)
October 8 – Rest/Reserve Day
October 9 – West Indies v Sri Lanka (NWU 1); Netherlands v Pakistan (NWU 2); Ireland v South Africa (Witrand)
October 10 – South Africa v West Indies (NWU 1); Sri Lanka v Pakistan (NWU 2); Ireland v Netherlands (Senwes)
October 11 – Rest/Reserve Day
October 12 – South Africa v Netherlands (NWU 2); Sri Lanka v Ireland (Witrand); West Indies v Pakistan (Senwes)

T20 Internationals
T20 Group A: West Indies (fifth), South Africa (seventh), Netherlands (tenth)
T20 Group B: Pakistan (sixth), Sri Lanka (eighth), Ireland (ninth)
October 14 – West Indies v South Africa (NWU 1); Pakistan v Sri Lanka (NWU 2)
October 14 – South Africa v Netherlands (NWU 1); Sri Lanka v Ireland (NWU 2)
October 15 – Rest/Reserve Day
October 16 – Netherlands v West Indies (NWU 1); Ireland v Pakistan (NWU 2)
October 16 – A1 v B1 (NWU 1); A2 v B2 (NWU 2); A3 v B3 (Witrand)