TAUNTON, England, CMC – Former skipper Merissa Aguilleira will become the third West Indies Women in two weeks to reach the coveted landmark of 100 One-Day Internationals when she suits up against New Zealand Women in the ICC Women’s World Cup on Thursday.
The 31-year-old wicketkeeper/batsman has been a stable part of the squad since making her debut nine years ago and joins current captain Stafanie Taylor and all-rounder Deandra Dottin who celebrated the milestone last Thursday.
Off-spinner Anisa Mohammed, a former vice-captain, was first to the 100-club and has already played 104 ODIs.
“It’s a huge milestone for me because I know a lot of people who could have gone out there and anything could have happened,” the Trinidadian said here Wednesday.
“You could have gotten an injury and could have ended your career but I’m really thankful to know that God has given me the opportunity and I have been doing well so hopefully we can continue.
“I want to say thanks to the entire team for being there. I know it would have been hard road but I’m here today and I’m thankful for it.”
Aguilleira had a less than flattering debut in 2008, run out without scoring against the Netherlands in a four-match away series but rose to become a gritty middle order batsman and an inspirational leader.
In fact, she led West Indies in 74 ODIs until being replaced by Taylor two years ago, and said she was simply thankful for the career she had managed to create.
“When I started I just wanted to go out there and express myself and just represent the people of the Caribbean to the best of my ability,” she explained.
“But I’m really thankful for the opportunity that God has given me and to know that I’ve used it in such a way and that I’ve inspired so many people and hopefully I can continue doing it.
“I want to say thank you to everybody who has supported me – my coaches, the management staff, my family, my fans [and] everyone who has been in full support of me.”
She continued: “God and God alone [has been the centre of my longevity]. He has been the centrestone of everything for me.
“I’ve had times when I know it has been rough and yes I’ve had the full support of my family all the time but I must give it up to God because he’s in control of my life and I thank him very much.”
Aguilleira finds herself in the midst of a crisis with the embattled West Indies side at the ongoing World Cup, with the team having lost all three of their opening games.
She said her aim was to help them through the current challenging period.
“I just want to go out there and give my best and really try and get the team together because I believe all teams go through something and I have full confidence this team is a strong team,” she pointed out.
“We’re able to overcome whatever challenge is put forward but we just have to continue and keep believing in ourselves.”