GRENVILLE, Grenada (CARIBUPDATE/Sept 08, 2016): Akeira Peters has become the latest Grenadian to be called up for training with the West Indies women’s cricket team.
The Telescope native is headed to a 14-day camp in Jamaica this month as the team prepares for a three-match one day international series against England there later this month.
Of the 18 players called up Peter is one of two uncapped players named. The other is Erva Giddings, a 30-year-old, ambidextrous all-rounder from Guyana.
Peters joins her compatriot and “my very, very best friend,” Afy Fletcher in the training squad.
“I am really looking forward to be one of the standout players in the training in Jamaica and the practice matches that are organised. When I get the opportunity I need to bowl well and take wickets and make runs with the bat and hopefully catch the eyes of the selectors,” Peters said, looking forward to the Jamaican experience.
“My dream is to be on the West Indies team proper and to be among these world champions,” she declared.
The 23 year old said she has come a long way since picking up the game as a 15 year old “for just fun and enjoyment.” Many kids actually start out on a muga pitch simply having a good time with friends.
Peters acknowledges she comes from “a cricket loving family,” saying that both her mother and father play, and “even my grandmother used to play.”
The left-arm seamer, who said she has since learnt how to swing the ball both ways, used to be the lone girl among the boys playing cricket in the village. Within months she was on the Grenada national senior team as a 15 year old.
“When I went to the (first) regional tournament, a lot of the players said that I was special and I had talent and that I just have to work at it,” she noted, hinting that her first overseas trip with the team opened up her eyes to the possibilities.
“I had to quickly bridge the gap between playing for fun and being really serious about my game,” she said.
“My goal is to go out there now and do my best, and show everybody that I am capable of playing at the international level,” the left-armer told CARIBUPDATE.
Peters said the people of her community have been very excited about her call-up.
“Everywhere I have gone, I have received a lot of congratulations and well wishes,” she said.
Peters trains daily with Fletcher, the champion West Indies leg spinner who is from a neighbouring village.
“This is a really happy moment to be given the opportunity to be able play next to your best friend, your coach and motivator,” Peter said in referring to Fletcher.
“She helps me in every way possible. She is a spinner and yet she helps me with my seam bowling, so you can imagine the bond and the support,” she said.
Peters is an all-round athlete having represented Grenada at football, and also having done track and played basketball at competitive levels.
But she now acknowledges, that “all of this is in the past,” as she begins a new journey to become the next genuine international cricketer from Grenada.