Former Windies captain expands coaching education with mission to help women’s cricket

PORT-OF-SPAIN, Trinidad, CMC – Retired West Indies captain Merissa Aguilleira is taking further steps to become a professional coach, saying she wants to help take women’s football in the region to the next level.

Aguilleira, who is also the Technical Director (TD) of the Trinidad & Tobago Cricket Board (TTCB) for Women’s Cricket, participated in the one-on-one component of the Cricket West Indies (CWI) Representative Coaching Program (Level 2) at the National Cricket Center in Couva, Trinidad on June 13-14.

“I am passionate about cricket, I have a lot of knowledge about the game. I think it would be very selfish of me not to pass it on to the next generation. I have a vision of where I want to see West Indies cricket so it is very important that we have people who are passionate about the game and ready to take on the role of really carrying women’s cricket and pushing it forward to the position it is meant to be. … It has to match our dedication and commitment,” she said.

“I think when you’re a coach, all of those things can be tied into developing women’s cricket and selling a brand. And once you build that coaching philosophy, and what you really want the players to look like, and you want them to be, I think that can make West Indies cricket stronger too. So, I’m passionate about it, happy to be involved in it, and I can’t wait to be there.

Aguilleira has been involved in recent series of cricket, including the Trinidad and Tobago Women’s Tour in Barbados in May and the West Indies Women’s Cricket Tournaments (CG United Super50 and T20 Blaze) in Guyana.

She also plays a major role in the CWI Women’s Under-19 T20 event as Tournament Director.

Aguilleira, recognized as one of the most successful women’s cricketers in the West Indies, said she had always liked the idea of ​​coaching and was encouraged to go in that direction.

“I remember, I spoke to someone recently when I was trying to get involved in officiating games. And while I was having another discussion with the person, I remember seeing him look at me, and he was like, ‘you’re supposed to be a coach.’ I really started thinking deep down that this is something I really need to get involved in,” she declared.

CWI Director of Coaching Development Chris Brabazon said CWI supports Aguilleira’s transition into coaching as well as the broader strategic approach to recruiting and developing female coaches.

“There is a need for more female coaches at all levels of our West Indies Cricket Pathway across the region. If we can increase the number of female role models in our cricket, we are in a much better position to engage and inspire the next generation of girls to get into the game and carry on through to the top ranks,” he said.

“We have successfully trained and accredited over 150 female Foundation coaches to Level 2 over the past two years and it is great to now have processes in place for Merissa and other experienced players and coaches to continue. and play a key role in the high performance realm of West Indies cricket.

“Having Merissa involved is fantastic as she is such a capable and passionate person about cricket, a highly respected figure and a great role model for our players and coaches, so we want to make sure we support her as much as possible on her coaching journey. added Brabazon.

Aguilleira started her international career in 2008 and ended in 2018, during which time she played 112 ODIs and 95 T20Is. She was a member of the winning team of the T20 World Cup in the memorable final against Australia at Eden Gardens, Kolkata in 2016, the biggest success in West Indies women’s history.

A right-handed batsman and classy wicketkeeper, she captained the West Indies to the ICC Women’s World Cup Final against Australia in 2013 in India and three ICC Women’s T20 World Cup semi-finals in 2010 in Sainte -Lucie, 2012 in Colombo, Sri Lanka, and 2014 in Dhaka, Bangladesh.