While the rest of the countries are grappling with the difficulties faced because of the pandemic, Namibia is busy organizing tours and training sessions for its players. Despite the challenges, Cricket Namibia is preparing for the coming year.
While the Zimbabwe tour of Namibia was canceled due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the national squad has been practicing hard for a season that will also see them play in the Women’s T20 World Cup Africa Qualifier which is going to be held in October.
In an interview with Namibian.com.na, national coach Francois van der Merwe spoke about the highly successful five-day training camp which was held recently.
“We had a national squad of our 14 top players and they were able to train in a professional environment. We worked at Craig Williams indoor facility where they had skills training as well as mental health sessions. It’s been a great learning curve for the women and they are now starting to think like international players.”
The original squad of 24 members that were training for the Zimbabwe series was reduced to 14 players. The training sessions comprised of net-facing, left-arm spin bowling and strike rotation, one-on-one with a bowling machine, batting skills, bowling skills, and fielding.
Along with finetuning players’ technique and physical training, the importance of mental health was stressed and worked upon too. Daily sessions were held where the players focused on how to become better versions of themselves. Aspects like how to deal with fear, boosting confidence, mental strength, setting and achieving goals were also touched upon.
Cricket Namibia is busy organizing new tours for girls, while the national squad has been hard at work preparing for a busy season that will culminate in the Women’s T20 World Cup Africa qualifier in October.@CricketNamibia1 pic.twitter.com/CvagNJ4kTz
— Female Cricket (@imfemalecricket) February 10, 2021
On Namibia’s prospects of qualifying for the World Cup Van der Merwe said, “We want to qualify for next year’s T20 World Cup, so our main aim will be to win the T20 World Cup Africa Qualifier in October. But besides that, we just want to work on improving our international ranking, so the more matches we play the more we will improve.”
“I’ll be disappointed if we don’t qualify for the World Cup. The women’s skill levels have improved a lot through repetition in training; they are starting to believe in themselves and with this confidence, they are starting to think like professionals.”
The CEO of Cricket Namibia, Johan Muller, said that the board was coordinating with other boards to arrange and organize more tours for the team. “We are working on a tour by Uganda to Namibia towards the end of April, while we also hope to reschedule the Zimbabwe tour in the near future. Besides that, we are planning a tour to South Africa to play the Emerging Proteas in July or August.”
Irené van Zyl (captain), Yasmeen Khan (wicketkeeper), Adri van der Merwe, Kayleen Green, Suné Wittmann, Sylvia Shihepo, Arassta Diergaardt, Wilka Mwatile, Mekelanye Mwatile, Reehana Khan, Shiomwenyo Namusha, Didi Foerster, Victoria Hamunyela and Phia Gerber.
Source – Namibian.com.na