By Randy Bennett | Sun, October 27, 2013 - 12:02 AM
The West Indies have been hailed as the biggest success in women’s cricket during the past five years.
Charlotte Edwards, captain of England’s women’s team, made the bold statement on Friday evening during an International Cricket Council (ICC) media event at the Hilton Hotel.
With ICC president Alan Issac and West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) president Dave Cameron in attendance, Edwards – whose team played the West Indies in the final of the Tri-Nation Series Cup last night – maintained that since 2008, no team had made as much progress as the Merissa Aguillera-led unit.
“For me, they have been the biggest success in women’s cricket in the last five years,” she said to rapturous applause.
“The way they have played their cricket and the performances of their two outstanding players in [Deandra] Dottin and [Stafanie] Taylor – who are real stars of the game now – and for me to see those young players coming out and expressing themselves in this form of the game is testament to where they are at the moment.
“I think there are highly exciting times ahead for the game and I think that the West Indies have brought a lot to women’s cricket in the last five years,” Edwards added.
Recalling the first meeting of the two teams back in 2008 when England pounded an inexperienced West Indies team, Edwards jokingly acknowledged that that treatment had now come full circle.
England suffered two defeats at the hands of the regional side in the preliminary round of the Tri-Nation Series Cup.
In response, Aguilera praised her team’s determination and perseverance, along with a strong work ethic for helping to propel them among the best women’s teams in the world.
She admitted that after having been “treated roughly” by England, the players knew exactly what was required of them if they wanted to be competitive against the elite teams such as England, Australia, India and Sri Lanka.
“It has always been a roller coaster ride for the West Indies women’s cricket team. But no matter what we have been through, or what has been thrown at us, we have been able to stand firm and continue to work hard towards what we wanted,” the skipper said.
“Our main goal is to obviously reach to No. 1 and obviously we know that it isn’t just going to come like that.
“But we have to continue to work hard, be dedicated and be disciplined in all areas. It’s a real struggle . . . everything in life is challenging, but as long as we continue to put God first in whatever we do, then everything becomes easier,” added Aguillera.
In his brief remarks, Issacs revealed that he was very satisfied at the rate at which women’s cricket had grown in recent years.
He said that with the introduction of T20 cricket, they had seen increased interest in not only the number of people watching the sport but also in the number participating.
The ICC chief also lauded the rise of the West Indies team, saying that “it had led to increased competitiveness among the women teams.”
During the two-hour long event, both the men’s and women’s trophies for the 2014 World Twenty20, which will be held in Bangladesh in March, were also on display.
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