By Sohail Ali
LAHORE, Oct 06 (APP):Pakistan women’s national team will resume their cricketing activities when their High Performance Camp begins on October 8 in Karachi.
A total of 27 players will undergo a 24-day-long camp between October 8-31 at the National Stadium and Hanif Mohammad High Performance Centre during which they will work on their skills, fitness and play practice matches.
Bismah Maroof, the captain of the women’s team, feels the players are excited to get together as a group after a gap of more than seven months, when they played the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup in Australia earlier this year, and are looking to make the most of the camp.
Bismah Maroof, who has captained Pakistan in 38 ODIs and 18 T20Is, said on Tuesday : “There is a lot of excitement amongst the players to get back together after seven, eight months. Everyone is looking forward to making the most of this camp by working on their skills and fitness.
“It is going to be a bit difficult to carry the rhythm from where we left but the aim should be to work hard and achieve it. We are looking forward to working with David Hemp, the newly appointed head coach, and try to get the best out of ourselves.
“I spent a lot of time with my family during the lockdown and I enjoyed it. I spent my time with my husband and in-laws, with whom I had not been able to spend time much because of cricket. As a professional, I had to maintain my fitness to ensure I stay ready to hit the ground running whenever the opportunity arose. So, I focused on fitness work as I used to do running and cardio workouts at sunrise.”
“As a captain, my aim is to take this team into the top four and this team has that potential. But, we need to work hard to achieve and fully utilize it, which is our focus over the next year so we can prepare ourselves for the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup in New Zealand in 2022.”
For Javeria Khan, who has donned the golden star in 204 international matches, this camp serves an opportunity to get back her batting form through the practice matches. During the pandemic-induced lockdown days, the top-order batter returned to the hobbies she had as a student.
Javeria Khan said : “I am very, very excited to get back and feel blessed to be taking the field again to play the sport, which I love. This is a new beginning of sorts as we have a new head coach joining us and the players are getting together after a long time. We will try to enjoy our time together to the fullest.
“It is great that we are having this camp at the start of our season as we can get in the rhythm. I will try to make the most of it and get back my batting form.
“It was quite a tough challenge to cope with the halt that Covid-19 had brought. You enjoy breaks of two, three days, but when there is no end to such a long break in sight, you have to find different ways to motivate yourself to keep going. So, I picked up the hobbies, which I had left during my school days. I painted and sung, a little bit. I gave time to my family, which was nice.
“We could not compromise on our fitness during this time and this lengthy break provided everyone an opportunity to strengthen their basics in regards to fitness. So, my aim was to enhance my fitness levels so I am ready both physically and mentally for the on-field challenges.”