"Merissa has given beyond her best during her years of dedicated service to cricket," said head of Cricket West Indies (CWI), Richard Skerritt, on Wednesday at a farewell function hosted by the T&T Cricket Board (TTCB) at its Balmain, Couva headquarters, for Merissa Aguilleira who recently announced her resignation from playing competitive cricket.
Aguilleira was celebrated for her contribution to the sport over the years at the gathering which had TTCB president Azim Bassarath and Couva South MP Rudranath Indarsingh in attendance.
"I am proud to have given several years to WI. Playing and winning the World Cup was the high point of my career," said Aguilleira, who wants to see a U-19 women’s World Cup competition in the near future.
Her hopes for women's cricket was supported by the recently elected CWI president, who is hopeful that one day a woman would head CWI since in his opinion women are better equipped to deal with conflict resolutions.
"CWI would be pushing more women’s cricket. The recent victory of the Trinidad’s women’s Under-19 team is just the beginning of more and more youth cricket," said Skerritt who also promised more appointments to women within the organisation.
Skerritt said he has met with the University of the West Indies (UWI) faculty of sports in Jamaica where discussions were held to seek the university’s greater involvement in research and high-performance interventions specific to women’s cricket.
"I want the university to consider putting in a CCC (Colleges and Combined Campuses) equivalent women’s team for future events in the Caribbean," said Skerritt, describing T&T as the home of WI women’s cricket as he paid tribute to Aguilleira who he branded a regional icon in women’s cricket.
Aguilleira, a former West Indies and T&T captain, said CWI was in good hands with Skerritt at the helm and plans in the near future take up an administrative post in cricket.
Fielding questions from the media on the changes that are unfolding in CWI, Skerrit said, "Cricket selectors will have to answer to the public. The new CWI board intention is to make everyone accountable to the public. When the players for the upcoming World Cup were announced earlier on Wednesday, a media conference was held where the chairman of the selectors, the coach and the director of cricket faced the media. CWI is becoming more media-centric so the media can engage cricket officials and selectors."
He said persons in a position to make crucial decisions surrounding cricket should be placed in a position to explain those decisions and be asked questions.
"I want to see cricket become one of the major topics of discussion in the region. Once the discussions start going, the ideas will start flowing and the sport will undoubtedly remain potent."