PORT-OF-SPAIN, Trinidad (CMC):
The West Indies Women's team has been hailed as the biggest success in women's cricket over the past five years.
Charlotte Edwards, captain of England's women's team, made the statement recently as she showed respect to the success and dedication of the regional side. She said no team had made as much progress as the Merissa Aguilleira-led Caribbean side.
"For me, they have been the biggest success in women's cricket in the last five years," said Edwards, who has played 174 ODIs, 64 T20 Internationals and 20 Test matches since her debut back in 1996.
"The way they have played their cricket, and the performances of their two outstanding players in [Deandra] Dottin and [Stafanie] Taylor, who are real stars of the game now, and for me to see those young players coming out and expressing themselves in this form of the game is testament to where they are at the moment.
"I think there are highly exciting times ahead for the game, and I think that the West Indies have brought a lot to women's cricket in the last five years," added Edwards.
COME FULL CIRCLE
Recalling back in 2008 when the two teams met for the first time, and England pounded a then inexperienced West Indies team, Edwards jokingly acknowledged that that treatment had now come full circle.
In response, Aguilleira praised the West Indies' tremendous determination and perseverance, along with a strong work ethic for helping to propel them among the best women's team in the world.
She admitted that after having been "treated roughly" by England, the players knew exactly what was required of them if they wanted to be competitive against the elite teams such as Australia, New Zealand and the English side.
"It has always been a roller coaster ride for the West Indies women's cricket team. But no matter what we have been through, or what has been thrown at us, we have been able to stand firm and continue to work hard towards what we wanted.
"Our main goal is to obviously reach to number one and obviously we know that it isn't just going to come like that," Aguilleira explained.
"But we have to continue to work hard, be dedicated and be disciplined in all areas. It's a real struggle ... . Everything in life is challenging, but as long as we continue to put God first in whatever we do, then everything becomes easier."