KARACHI: Pakistan women’s cricket team head coach David Hemp is hoping that the upcoming programme of trials to unearth talent from across the country will help the struggling side find its feet in the international arena.
The trials, set to commence from May 12, will be conducted by the six provincial cricket associations will target players of ages ranging from 19 to 28.
The program is in line with the Pakistan Cricket Board’s ambition to have 100 women cricketers participating in the 2022-23 domestic season.
Pakistan have struggled to win enough to be considered a force to be reckoned with in the last two years and a dismal show at the 50-over World Cup earlier this year has initiated a discourse on the domestic cricket system for women.
For Hemp, the trials are a good start to a fresh process.
“Behind the scenes, as you know, the trails are going ahead to develop a different type of group of players so we have a stronger domestic system,” Hemp told reporters on the sidelines of the national side’s preparatory camp for the upcoming One-day International and T20 series against Sri Lanka. “Once that is in place, you’ll see a shift in fortunes, I believe, because more competition for places drives standards and expectations.”
The New Zealander said the team management would not hesitate to give talented players the opportunity to be involved at the top level.
“Once the trials are complete, any new talent and players who are out there we feel are good enough to be invited to the camps,” said Hemp. “Teams around the world, international teams that are performing consistently are supported by a very strong domestic system.”
While the new structure finds its shape, Hemp admitted there’s work that is needed to be done in the short term, especially after the World Cup, in which Pakistan lost six out of their seven matches.
Pakistan had aimed for semi-final place at the showpiece even if their performance before that should not have raised such high hopes as they failed to register a single series win.
Hemp acknowledged the team needed to be better.
“On reflection from the World Cup, there’s a couple of key areas that we’re looking at in terms of how we’d like to play the game or areas of the game that we need to evolve and get better at,” he said.
“Losses in the World Cup to South Africa and Bangladesh, two games that we got in really strong positions and we should have won. That’s been bit of a pattern, which we’re addressing as often as we can when we get into these camps.”
After Pakistan host Sri Lanka here from May 24 to June 3, they will travel to Ireland for a T20 triangular series involving the home side and world champions Australia.
Pakistan’s next assignment after the series will be the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, which commence on July 8.
“To play against Ireland and Australia will be great preparation, in conditions that we will be more likely to deal with in Birmingham against two different types of oppositions,” said Hemp.
Published in Dawn,May 10th, 2022