The victorious T&T women cricketers were greeted on their return yesterday with the news that the local board will be hosting a T20 franchise league in Trinidad, involving four teams.
This was revealed by CEO of the T&T Cricket Board (TTCB), Suruj Ragoonath at the VIP Lounge of the Piarco International Airport, as the team returned home from St Vincent, where they defeated Barbados in the finals of the WICB Regional Super50 tournament.
According to Ragoonath: “We want to have four franchise teams in East, Central, North and South Trinidad and play a T20 league. As a matter of fact a local cricketer has already bought one of the franchises and the other three are up for sale. We are hoping to get this tournament going soon, with the finals to be played at the Brian Lara Stadium on May 19. We are inviting at least two women cricketers from the region for each team, as we look to put a regional flavour to it.”
Minister of Sport Darryl Smith was also on hand and brought the news that the women will be taken care of in terms of their training and development at the Brian Lara Academy, as soon as it gets going in Tarouba. He said that the women have brought great positivity to the country and will be treated well.
He said to them: “You all are great ambassadors, going out and winning is great for us. We’re here to work with you all, when the Lara academy gets going we are going to have you all involved. Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley and the Cabinet are very pleased with this victory by you girls.”
President of the T&T Women’s Cricket Board, Joyclen Opadeyi also thanked the T&TCB for their support in assisting to have the girls properly prepared for the tournament. “The pressure is always on you to perform. After winning the First Citizens sports team award it put you on a high and all you wanted was to go out there and win this title. We are going to keep that supremacy in the Caribbean. We will continue to provide things for you to perform.”
Skipper Merissa Aguilleira, who went into the final very confident of defending the title that the team won a year ago, said the victory was owed to the Lord’s intervention.
“We said a special prayer on the way to the match. One of the things that a young player mentioned while on the way to the match was that you don’t get too many chances. We got a second chance and we showed the Barbados team that we came here to do something and that was to be victorious. I believed in my team, the potential, the dedication and discipline and not only at the tournament but even in preparation were excellent and it paid off. God had no other choice but to help us win. It was earned and well deserved as we fought as a team, we prayed as a team, we quarrelled as a team but stayed united.”