The Pakistan Cricket Board announced a High-Performance Camp for 27 players. The announcement came three days after the Pakistan Cricket Board’s 2020-21 domestic cricket season started in Multan. The camp will take place at the Hanif Mohammad High-Performance Centre and National Stadium in Karachi from 8 to 31 October.
While the women’s cricket activities have been returning with the camp, all 27 players and player support personnel will have to undergo the first round of COVID-19 tests at their residences, as per the PCB Covid-19 protocols. Meanwhile, the PCB will look after the expenses. However, the players and support staff can only assemble in Karachi if their test results come negative. And, there they will have to undergo the second round of COVID-19 tests before being allowed further.
During the camp, they will undergo the third round of tests to ensure their health and safety amid this crunch time. While staying at a hotel in Karachi, the players and player support personnel will follow the bio-secure protocols. While the player support personnel will be announced soon, experienced coaches like Atiq-uz-Zaman and Mohammad Zahid have divided their time to help women cricketers with the required attention and training according to their requirements.
Atiq-uz-Zaman said, “I have been impressed with their fitness standards. Despite the Covid-19 lockdown, the girls have maintained good fitness, which reflects their positive and professional approach. Fitness is the key, which specially helps in fielding and I am pleased with the dedication these girls are showing to further hone their skills. They are willing to go an extra yard to improve something which hasn’t been traditionally a hallmark of our cricket.”
Mohammad Zahid added, “Fast bowling is all about rhythm and the quickies are not too far from the top flight. The more these girls will bowl in the nets, the better they will get. Our objective is to help them rise to the standard where they play and perform in competitive cricket.”
He also added, “David Hemp’s appointment is a decision in the right direction. He is an experienced coach and understands the psyche, dynamics and requirements of women cricketers. All the coaches at the NHPC look forward to welcoming him in Lahore and will support and assist him in any way we can.”
Wicketkeeper-batter Sidra Nawaz revealed, “It is very refreshing to be at the NHPC, which provides the cricket atmosphere and encourages professional cricketers to get actively involved and utilise the facilities. We have been missing this environment for nearly six months but with the opening of the NHPC and availability of renowned coaches, it is helping all of us to cover up for the lost time.”
All-rounder Aliya Riaz said, “I know our domestic season has not been announced though the High-Performance Camp has been unveiled, but we are taking this period as pre-season training and preparation so that they are not rusty when our cricket resumes. It is a blessing to have such outstanding training facilities with qualified coaches also available to us. We are thoroughly enjoying these training sessions and hope hard work in these sessions will pay off when our cricket commences.”
Players invited for the PCB High-Performance Camp:
Aiman Anwar, Aliya Riaz, Anam Amin, Ayesha Naseem, Ayesha Zafar, Bismah Maroof, Diana Baig, Fatima Sana Khan, Iram Javed, Javeria Khan, Javeria Rauf, Kainat Imtiaz, Kaynat Hafeez, Maham Tariq, Muneeba Ali, Nahida Khan, Najiha Alvi, Nashra Sandhu, Natalia Pervaiz, Nida Dar, Omaima Sohail, Rameen Shamim, Saba Nazir, Sadia Iqbal, Sidra Amin, Sidra Nawaz and Syeda Aroob Shah