Gibraltar cricketers visit Scotland
National Captain Noelle Laguea (NL) and Wicketkeeper Agatha Acris (AA) spoke to gibraltarcricket.com after the Italian tournament to give us their thoughts on their Scotland experience and the future for female cricket in Gibraltar.
Q. You have had a busy few weeks tell us about your trip to Scotland. What games did you get involved in?
NL - We had a longer overs format on the first day playing a 45 over game against Lancashire which eased us into the intensity rather than experiencing the velocity of a 20 over match which is something we’re not normally used to. On our second game day we played two 20 over games, also against Lancashire. Our final game day was also two 20 over games. These were regional games with a mix of the Scottish development players and more experience players including many from the full Scotland team. Agatha and I played for different teams but we got a win each!
AA – This experience has been rewarding from the first moment we got to Scotland. It was an experience where all my skills as a cricketer were challenged by the high level of cricket they played. Everyone in Scotland was really attentive and welcoming. They made us feel part of the team from moment one, making it a wonderful and unforgettable experience.
Q. Can you highlight two things each that you feel you learnt from the Scotland trip?
NL - As a captain I’ve always known it’s my role to know more or less how every player in my team bats or bowls. It was amazing to see how the Scotland captain would set her field strategically depending on who was batting or who was bowling and how well that worked. I’ve therefore learnt that strategy is an extremely important aspect in cricket. A second point would be to remain positive throughout your whole performance. Cricket is a mental sport so you need a good amount of confidence in everything you do. In Scotland you would have the whole team backing you up every time you fielded, bowled or batted, no matter how you performed. If you keep positive there will probably be a more positive outcome in your performance.
AA - I also learnt the importance of having a positive attitude towards the game and remaining more supportive and encouraging throughout the game for a better performance. Secondly I also felt I learnt a lot in terms of fielding efficiently. Examples of this would be, when stopping the batting pair from scoring many singles or how to add pressure to the batting site, leading to them making mistakes.
Q. A lot of people talk on twitter about the #cricketfamily, what does this mean to you?
AA - In my opinion #cricketfamily is the environment and atmosphere surrounding the sport of cricket. For example how cricket can bring everyone together through socialising through playing and training for cricket and by making friends and of course the sportsmanship.
NL - #CricketFamily is probably something I first heard in Scotland. It may be a good way of describing belonging to a wider cricket community. To me it means a group of people who share the same interests and love for cricket, not just within teams but between across the sport too.
Q. Do you feel the experience in Scotland has helped you grow as cricketers?
AA - Definitely this experience has allowed me to identify areas in my game that need improvement. I also learnt more about the game and how to approach it in a smart way. I would say the Scotland experience has given me the extra push I needed to grow as a cricketer.
NL - Definitely. After seeing how seriously the Scottish players took their games and seeing how much they wanted to improve when they were already amazing (to me) just makes me want to become as good as them. There’s a lot more to cricket than I thought (which showed on and off the pitch) and experiences like these will hopefully keep me growing as a cricketer.
Q. Do you feel the experience & the things you learnt gave you the opportunity to help the rest of the Gib squad in the recent tournament in Italy?
NL - In other tournaments I’ve always captained the side without really knowing what I’m doing. I’ve always had to rely a lot on my coaches for advice but on this recent trip to Italy the vice captain Lizzie Ferrary and I were given a lot more freedom to captain our own side. After seeing how the sides in Scotland played and seeing how the captain took up her role, it gave me the confidence to try do the same in this tournament. In this role I was therefore able to give them any advice they needed or even explain why I was doing something in hope that it would increase their knowledge of cricket. In Italy a lot of the girls asked me how the trip to Scotland was. I was able to share what I had learnt with them and it hopefully motivated them to do as best as they can in our matches. Again, many of the girls lack confidence when playing but this will come with experience and hopefully with speaking to the older players.
AA - I believe so. With Noelle guiding the team as a more developed captain and me supporting and encouraging the team throughout the matches, the performance of the team was clearly improved.
Q. What are your hopes for Girls and Women’s Cricket in Gibraltar going forward?
AA - In a future I would like to see girls and women cricket continue to develop as a “big cricket family”, where people feel they belong to something big that gives them the chance of meeting lots of people throughout Gibraltar and the world with who they can share the same passion.
NL - My hopes are that we continue to grow as we have in the past 4/5 years and gradually have enough teams to even form a women’s league. We have a lot of talent coming through so my hopes are that we continue to play in tournaments like this one in Italy and hopefully also send younger sides to U15 or U17 tournaments or bring teams over to Gibraltar. Teams in the UK and Europe seem to have many practice games which can only make them better. If we had the same experience in games in Gibraltar we would improve drastically without a doubt.
ICC Europe helped with funding for this project for Gibraltar Cricket Association.