One of West Indies’ longest serving cricketers, Merissa Aguilleira, who has 207 international caps to her name, announced her retirement from international cricket. The wicket-keeper has called time on her international career almost 11 years after her debut in September 2008.
Over the course of her 112-match ODI career, Aguilleira was prolific behind the stumps, executing 104 dismissals. 78 of these wickets were catches, while 26 were stumpings. She also contributed with the bat lower down the order, adding valuable runs to the total towards the end of her sides’ innings. In 100 innings, Aguilleira amassed 1752 runs, at an average of just above 20.
Beginning her T20 career in 2009 against South Africa, Aguilleira had considerable success in the shortest format too. In her 95 appearances, she was responsible for 72 dismissals. She also scored 768 runs, at an average of 14.5.
Aguilleira’s greatest success however, probably came as captain. Taking on the role in 2009, she led her side to the final of the 2013 ICC Women’s World Cup. Under her, the West Indian side also reached the semi-finals of the 2010, 2012 and 2014 editions of the ICC Women’s World T20. In the subsequent year, Aguilleira handed over the reins to Stafanie Taylor and was part of the West Indian side that went on to win the WT20 in 2016.
Her last international assignment was fittingly a historic one. She, as interim captain, led her side in a three-match T20 series against Pakistan, in Pakistan; a memorable occasion that saw international women’s cricket return to the country. West Indies won that series 2-1, as Aguilleira’s distinguished career got a deserved ending, with her side winning the match in which she made her final appearance in her national colors.
She was named in the squad for the ODI leg of the tour as well, but did not feature in the playing XI. She missed out on national selection for West Indies upcoming tour of England and Ireland too. These exclusions may have been signs pointing towards the 33-year old stalwart calling time on her international career.
Looking back at her career, Aguilleira commented, “I wish to thank all members of the team with which I worked and that worked with me to secure success in our endeavors to bring pleasure, pride, happiness and inspiration to West Indian people everywhere. It is an absolute honor to have been of service to West Indies Cricket. My continued goal is to assist CWI to build and develop women’s cricket and help others like me to achieve their dreams.”
Following this announcement, Cricket West Indies Director of Cricket, Jimmy Adams said, “From my own experience this cannot be the easiest of times for Merissa. However, her dignity and candor in communicating this decision has been exceptional. The highest of accolades are due to her for a career spanning more than 10 years and which included over 100 ODIs. Far exceeding the statistics, Merissa has been the epitome of professionalism throughout her career whilst consistently upholding the highest possible standards on and off the field.
“Personally I am very grateful to Merissa for all her help and assistance she gave me since I became Director of Cricket, and I have no doubt that she will continue to add value to the game in the region in the future. I wish her all the very best as she begins a new chapter in her life.”