Merissa Aguilleira will be leading the West Indian women's team in Pakistan in the limited overs affairs after regular skipper Stafanie Taylor opted out of the tour and she is hoping that other nations will make the way to the country following their visit in the near future.
While Taylor decided not to travel to Pakistan due to security concerns, Aguilleira reached Karachi on Tuesday night with her team to play three-match T20 International series starting on Thursday (January 31) at the Southend club. The will also ODI series in Dubai.
It is West Indian women's first visit to Pakistan since 2004 when an unofficial Test and seven One Day Internationals were played against the hosts.
Ever since a terrorist attack on the Sri Lanka team bus in Lahore in 2009, major cricket playing countries don’t wish to travel the country due to security concern except West Indies, Sri Lanka, and Zimbabwe.
While Pakistan has been trying hard to revive international cricket in the country, Aguilleira feels they are heading in the right direction to bring back regular international cricket to the country, as she is impressed with the hospitality and warmth of the people of the county, saying other nations should also rethink about coming to Pakistan.
Aguilleira told reporters in a press conference, “I think the Pakistanis are heading in the right direction when it comes to bringing back international cricket to Pakistan. We have come here with a positive mindset and we are emotionally, physically and mentally prepared for whatever challenge the home side can throw at us.”
She continued, “When I came off the flight the hospitality and warmth of the people who are so caring and loving caught us by surprise. When it comes to bringing back cricket to Pakistan, I believe other teams should also rethink about coming to Pakistan.”
Meanwhile, she admitted that her team had mixed emotions before deciding to come to Pakistan, but they don’t, they would have been so disappointed.
Aguilleira further added, “I really believe that the other teams should really be thinking about it (touring Pakistan) because it’s not just about teams, it’s about cricket and when you look at the fans they are so happy that we are here. I am so thankful to God that we can really bring back cricket to Pakistan,”
The stand-in skipper signed off by saying, “Of course, we had mixed emotions but I mean when I am looking at it right now, if we had not come to Pakistan, I would have been so disappointed. Away from Pakistan, you think differently about the situation here, but when you are here and there is so much going on, you get lost in the cricket.”
(With Press Trust of India Inputs)