Two Bermudian female cricketers have made it into the Leeward Islands team for the Cricket West Indies Rising Stars Women’s Under-19 Championship.

Katherine Bean-Rosario and Amara Richards, both 18, were picked among the final squad of 14 to represent Leewards in a T20 tournament taking place in Trinidad & Tobago from Monday until July 15.

The two were selected after rigorous trials supervised by Percy Daniel, the Leewards head coach, with 21 players competing against each other for a spot in the 14.

Bean-Rosario and Richards were joined by compatriots Chloe Chard and Ja’Shay Trott, who failed to make the cut. The four Bermudian girls were accompanied to St Kitts by coach Terry-Lynn Paynter, who will stay with Bean-Rosario and Richards until the end of the tournament.

The Bermuda youngsters were competing against cricketers from Antigua, St Kitts, St Vincent and the United States for a role on the team and Bean, who had her first taste of overseas cricket when she played for Triangle Strikers, a Bermuda select team at the Georgia Women’s Cricket T20 tournament, is delighted to get another chance to play in a competitive environment.

“It’s a great opportunity for me to learn and grow,’’ Bean-Rosario said.

“It opens up chances for me possibly and playing for the Leeward Islands women’s team means that I can get more experience.

“Now that I’ve made their under-19 team, I think I’m capable of playing for their women’s team, hopefully next year when I get older.

“I’m just happy that my hard work paid off, and I was able to make the team to go to Trinidad and do Bermuda proud, which was my original goal.

“I feel like it’s going to be an amazing experience. The tournament atmosphere is something I’m looking forward to.

“When we first started training we were told that this team has actually never won that tournament, so I would really like to win it for them and make history.”

Before heading to St Kitts, Bean-Rosario went on an International Cricket Council Americas high-performance camp in Florida.

“The high-performance camp really helped a lot and I was able to get a lot of insight about cricket from that,” she said.

“I learnt a lot that I was able to bring to the Leeward team. At the Leeward camp I’ve been practising my bowling, just trying to keep it on target and working on my follow-through.

“I’ve improved a lot on my batting and I think that’s where I really made an impression with this team.”

Bean-Rosario has been put to the test at the camp but being alongside her fellow trialists has made the training sessions a lot more enjoyable.

“The training has been really good and very intense as we’ve been training from 9am up to 5pm,’’ she said.

“It’s a really long day, but girls from different countries have made the training sessions a lot easier.

“They’ve made the sessions a lot more tolerable because they’re very nice and supportive. They’re just great people to be around for a whole day of training.”

The multi-talented Bean-Rosario is soon heading to Monroe College in New York, where she has signed up to play football, but she has allayed fears that football’s gain will be cricket’s loss.

“I don’t think my cricket career will suffer,’’ she said. “

Coach Paynter is trying to arrange cricket games for the women’s team. She’s doing that so that we’re not waiting a whole year to play cricket again.

“I’m really looking forward to what my coach has in store for women’s cricket in the future.”

Richards, who played cricket at The Berkeley Institute and CedarBridge Academy, wants to use the Leeward opportunity to prepare for when Bermuda women return to international action.

“It’s really great to get this opportunity because it’s something I’ve been working towards for a long time,’’ Richards said.

“It was a rough start but I pulled through in the end. My strength is medium-pace bowling and I also bat down the order.

“The training here has been very intense because of the length of the sessions, but I feel like I’m getting used to it.

“I would like to win the tournament with Leewards because I know last year they didn’t do really well.

“If Bermuda ends up having a women’s team, I would like to play for them. I know coach Paynter is trying to plan some games and tournaments for us so we could really get out there and hopefully that starts a national squad.”