Franklyn Najjumba, the in-charge of Women’s Cricket at Uganda Cricket Association, had the opportunity to spend a one month training placement with the Lady Chevrons of Zimbabwe.
The high-performance coaching opportunity gave her an insight into how first-class teams prepare for major events. The Lady Chevrons were preparing for the World Cup qualifiers due in Sri Lanka that were cancelled due to the global pandemic.
A training squad of over 21 ladies were camped in Bulawayo, the second biggest city in Zimbabwe but one of the things that caught Najjumba’s eye was the size of the technical team.
“Zimbabwe had a technical team of seven people each with a designated role. What stood out was a team Psychologist who was there to help the players to prepare mentally,” she said.
During a webinar organized by the Uganda Cricket Association to discuss the importance of high-performance training in ladies’ cricket, Najjumba also noted that the whole Lady Chevrons squad were contracted by Zimbabwe Cricket and therefore all the players took the game very seriously.
In comparison to their competition, the Lady Cricket Cranes are usually only called up to camp on a need basis and sometimes go for a year without engagement.
Our ladies here don’t have contracts and only meet when they are preparing for tournaments therefore cricket is not sustainable for most of them.Franklyn Najjumba
Najjumba noted that this level of preparation is what the Lady Cricket Cranes need in order for the girls to fulfill their full potential. While the need might be subject to resources, it’s inevitable if the Lady Cricket Cranes want to chase the likes of Zimbabwe. The Ugandans have been the closest to the Lady Chevrons and even got the better of them in 2017 in a shock win to be crowned African Champions.
“The Zimbabwe ladies prepare for a long time, being engaged for more than 3 months. The facilities they use are also first-class which helps them prepare well.”
The Lady Cricket Cranes are not far from the World Cup and an investment in their game can surely reap a maiden global showpiece appearance. With only two qualifying tournaments that they have to negotiate compared more than four the men, it would be a safe bet to take a chance on the ladies.