Merissa Aguilleira (FILE)
PORT OF SPAIN – Former West Indies women’s captain, Merissa Aguilleira, said she was “a bit saddened” by the sacking of the entire management unit following the recent failed Women’s World Cup campaign, but says she is excited by the prospect of working with the new interim management team.
Head coach Vasbert Drakes, assistant coaches Ezra Moseley and Stuart Williams, along with operations manager Ann Browne-John, were all shown the door by Cricket West Indies, after presiding over a wretched run at the showpiece in England last July.
In a complete overhaul, physiotherapist Oba Gulston, fitness coordinator Hector Martinez-Charles, performance advisor Donald La Guerre and analyst Trent Sargeant, were also replaced.
“I was a bit saddened by it. He (Drakes) has been a good coach. He had been with us for a little while now,” Aguilleira, a veteran of the squad with 103 One-Day Internationals and 81 Twenty20 Internationals, told CNC 3 Television here.
“He came in for the Sri Lanka tour 2015 and he did a good job from start to end, so it’s probably a decision that was taken just looking at the future of the women’s team.
“It’s all about us going forward and making sure that we are on top and the CWI probably sees this as a step going forward.”
Aguilleira said the management team had gelled well with the squad and players had benefited as a result of their expertise.
“The entire management staff have been really good to us. All the players would’ve definitely learned something from them, from the manager straight back,” she pointed out.
“These people really supported us throughout, so we’re a bit saddened by it. But at the end of the day, it’s all about the development of West Indies cricket and how far we can go.”
With a series against touring Sri Lanka starting next month, Aguilleira said it was important the side were not distracted by the changes.
“The CWI will have a valid reason for it (the change), I’m not going against it,” the 31-year-old stressed.
“Certain times you are in a different situation so you don’t know exactly what angle they’re looking from, but at the end of the day, as players our main focus is just to focus on our job at hand.
“We have a series coming up against Sri Lanka and obviously, we don’t want to focus on the wrong things. We really want to stay focused on the job at hand, because it’s all about making sure that we represent, but we have to make sure that our minds are clear no matter what the situation is.”
Head coach Henderson Springer will lead an interim management unit, which also includes former Bermuda and West Indies head coach, Gus Logie, as his assistant.
And Aguilleira hailed the competence of the incoming personnel, pointing out they were all excellent choices.
“He (Springer) is a great coach, you can’t fault him on that. He’s an excellent coach. I’m really looking forward to working with him. Even Gus Logie … these are coaches that have interacted with women so they understand how to deal with women.
“We’re looking forward to the skills they will be bringing to the table, because we definitely need to upgrade ourselves to a different level; so it’s all about trying to take as much as possible from these coaches.”
Despite the sacking of the management unit, the selectors have retained all 17 players from the failed World Cup campaign, for a ten-day training camp ahead of the Sri Lanka series.
Britney Cooper, who was surprisingly overlooked for the World Cup trip, has been added to the contingent which will be in Trinidad from September 25 to October 4 for the camp.
Barbadian fast bowlers Shakera Selman and Shamilia Connell have been included, subject to medical clearance, after both were forced out of the World Cup with injury.
SQUAD – Merissa Aguilleira, Reniece Boyce, Shamilia Connell, Britney Cooper, Shanel Daley, Deandra Dottin, Afy Fletcher, Qiana Joseph, Kycia Knight, Kyshona Knight, Hayley Matthews, Anisa Mohammed, Subrina Munroe, Chedean Nation, Akeira Peters, Shakera Selman, Stafanie Taylor, Felicia Walters. (CMC)