Windies women praise enhanced security after arriving for T20s

By CMC

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Stand-in West Indies skipper Merissa Aguilleira.

KARACHI, Pakistan, Jan 30, CMC – West Indies Women touched down here Wednesday for their three-match Twenty20 International series against Pakistan, hailing the enhanced level of security for the historic tour.

The Caribbean side trained in Dubai for the last week and will now take on the hosts in the first game here starting Thursday at Southend Club.

Security here has been a major issue for international sides ever since the deadly attack on a Sri Lanka team bus 10 years ago in Lahore, leading to a cessation of international series in the often volatile nation.

For West Indies Women, it is their first series in Pakistan in 15 years, and it follows on from their male counterparts’ similarly historic tour last April for three T20s, when they became the first major nation to stage a series in Pakistan since the attacks.

“The security system is top class. There was security on both sides of the roads and these things show that everybody has put things in place and we are really lucky to be spending time here,” said Merissa Aguilleira, leading the side in absence of regular captain Stafanie Taylor who opted out of the tour over security concerns.

Since the attacks, Pakistan have played all of their home series in the United Arab Emirates but cricket authorities here have been lobbying international sides in recent years, in a bid to have international cricket staged here again.

In 1017, a World XI played three T20s against Pakistan in Lahore incident-free, prompting the Windies to tour the following year.

And Aguilleira said the Windies Women were pleased to play their part in helping to revive cricket here.

“I’m pleased we can bring back cricket to Pakistan because it’s really important. If we find ourselves in this position, I believe one of the teams would step up and try to help us,” the veteran said.

“We are not playing ODIs here but eventually it will happen. I’m pleased that we as a team took the initiative to come over here. I am so thankful that we can contribute to bring back cricket to Pakistan.”

West Indies have little time to acclimatise to conditions here with three matches in four days but Aguilleira backed her side to make the adjustments.

We have a motto, two words our coach has given us: adapt and overcome. That is what we are trying to do,” she explained.

“It is really difficult adapting in such quick time, but we are professional cricketers and we are willing and raring to go. We are excited for this tour.”

West Indies face Pakistan in three ODIs starting in Dubai next week Thursday.

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