Excitement at its peak as the West Indies women finally did their training session at the Southend Club Karachi ahead of their first T20I match off three-match series. The visiting players got a warm welcome from Karachi after which they spent some time in the nets and also did fielding practice to get a feel of the venue.
Earlier, amid tight security, both team’s captains were being taken to the Sea View Beach along with the series trophy where they enjoyed a camel ride. Such unique moments made the visiting team’s tour an exciting one from the start.
While talking to the media after trophy unveiling in Karachi, the Windies stand-in captain Merissa Aguilleira said that she is feeling extremely happy to be in Pakistan and praised the hospitality they got from the people of the city.
“It feels like home, people are amazing here and we are really looking forward to cricket action after experiencing some amazing moments so far,” she said. Merissa mentioned that they will miss their star player and captain, Stefanie Taylor during the tour. “Obviously Stephanie’s absence would be a major blow for us,” said Merissa.
Merissa praised Pakistan’s progress in recent times and said that they have some top quality players who can give them stiff competition. “I think they have improved their skills and can be lethal in the series,” she said.
On a question about their strength in batting and prior to that in power-hitting, the skipper said that the West Indies have always been good at it and they will try to play some good cricket here as well.
“I know our batters are good at hitting the ball big but on the other hand Pakistan also have some smooth hitters of the ball,” said Merissa. On the other hand, Pakistan skipper Bismah Maroof is confident to change the fortunes for them this time around against West Indies as they have lost six out of nine T20Is they have played against the Irelanders.
“Our track record is not too impressive [against West Indies] but we are keen to make the most of this opportunity by taking the advantage of home conditions,” she said. Bismah said that it is overwhelming to see West Indies playing their part in bringing cricket back in Pakistan and she wants to see more renowned international teams coming to Pakistan soon. “Not only for me but every women cricketer can now showcase her skills at home,” she said.
It is pertinent to mention here that West Indies women team is touring Pakistan after a gap of almost 15 years. They will play three T20I matches on January 31, February 1 and 3 respectively. Later both teams will lock horns in three-match ODI series scheduled in UAE.