Aguilleira calls on West Indies board for more matches
West Indies came to the World Cup with little expectation on their shoulders, despite arriving with a No. 5 ranking for that position was based on their performance in previous World Cup. In the intervening time, they had only managed a year of international cricket before heading out to Australia.
They played some decent cricket to maintain their fifth position, which their captain Merissa Aguilleira said means a lot to her as a player. "It is very important to me," she said just after sealing the spot with a win against Pakistan at the Drummoyne Oval. "This is not an experienced team and we came out here people not even expecting us to reach this far."
Even so, they did not reach their potential and Aguilleira blamed this upon a lack of experience and called on the West Indies board for more matches to help the talented young women. "We could have performed better," she said. "At certain times we had teams under pressure even Australia. All we have to just think about is the positions we had them in […] and go back home, study it, work hard on our batting and come back out next World Cup and give some trouble.
"The most important thing is experience. As long as you're experienced and have been in positions, you can easily come out of it. Being inexperienced it's very hard, even though the team have the ability to do it. That is the most important thing to carry back to the Caribbean and even to the board - we need to go and play some more matches. We need to get more experience in order to be successful."
Their coach Sherwin Campbell has given them the benefit of his wisdom but, at times, found it frustrating that they let match situations slip away. "The coach keeps on complaining and stating that 'We're not doing it, we're not doing it, we are just letting it go'," Aguillera admits. "I guess once we think about it and go back home and work on our experience, it's going to help and even this World Cup helps a lot to see where we're at.
Having Campbell on board has certainly helped. "He has been a big West Indies player and he knows a lot of things that he really wants to share with us," Aguillera said. "As a coach he's a very good person to look up to."
The World Twenty20 is next on the agenda, in June, and Aguillera expects the players to improve in that short time. This last fortnight has helped hugely, while a long camp is in the offing, to bring together the players from their respective islands. "We need to go and work on our upper body strength and get some balls over the boundaries," she said. "We are going to go back home and work hard for the Twenty20."
Jenny Roesler is a former assistant editor at Cricinfo