Pakistan coach David Hemp wants players to take individual accountability

David Hemp, head coach of Pakistan, addressing the media. © PCB/Twitter

Pakistan head coach David Hemp stated that the focus in the training camp has been to challenge the players with the intensity that merges with the game situation ahead of their limited-overs series against South Africa that starts on January 20 in Durban.

The last time these two teams played in an international game was in February-March last year during the T20 World Cup in Australia. “In terms of result, obviously we want to return winning more games than we lose, but for me, it’s the performance,” Hemp told Women’s CricZone before leaving for the Rainbow nation.

“We are trying to find consistency in how we play, and that will lead to winning games. The focus has been how we challenge ourselves trying to get the intensity that merges with the game situation as much as possible.”

Women’s cricket returned to Pakistan after COVID-19 back in December last year with the National T20 Championship before the training camp under the supervision of Hemp started. “We are putting ourselves in a situation that we know we are going to face, in a couple of weeks’ time,” Hemp explained.

“It will help us win those key moments in those games and if we are able to do that, we should be able to come with more wins. It’s about how we play. We want to be more consistent in terms of how we go about the game and what we do in the game. That’s what we are focusing on.”

This will be Pakistan’s second tour to South Africa within two years. In May 2019, Pakistan and South Africa played three ICC Women’s Championship ODIs which ended in a 1-1 tie. In the five-match T20I series, Pakistan took a 2-1 lead before South Africa bounced back to clinch the series 3-2.

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Pakistan players during the training camp in Karachi. © PCB/Twitter

Hemp, who has experience of coaching in Australia before, wants the players to take more accountability for their own games. “What we are trying the players to do is take more accountability of their individual games.”

“When you come to train, make sure you come to train with a purpose, you are trying to add to your game, keep working on your strengths, continue the things you do well but also identify the areas to develop slightly further.”

“If you train at the right intensity then that is game-like. It’s a bit of onus on the players to come with the right attitude in training, it’s an onus on the coaches as well to give a program that challenges the players. What we are trying to do in these camps is play more games. For me you learn from playing games,” he added.

Hemp also expressed disappointment at not having regular skipper Bismah Maroof, who has opted out from the tour due to personal reasons. “It’s obviously disappointing that Bismah won’t be with us for several reasons. The influence that she has both on and off the field will be missed. We will also miss her contribution with runs,” he said before adding it provides an opportunity for others – youngsters as well as experienced – to fill the void.

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The tour to South Africa will also be the first official assignment for Hemp and bowling coach Arshad Khan. While Hemp joined forces in October last year, Arshad was appointed a month later. “On a personal level, it’s my first trip with the girls, I haven’t had time to think much but we know it’s going to be a challenge because the South African side is strong.”

“They are ranked above us in both ODIs and T20Is, they have several players that played in the WBBL and Women’s T20 Challenge, but I am still excited about what our players can show against them,” he stated. With the World Cup qualifiers in line to take place in Sri Lanka in July, Pakistan are also in talks for a possible bilateral series after the Proteas tour.

“We are still in discussion with another international side potentially having a series before the qualifiers. We also have the domestic 50-over competition which I believe will be in May. If the international series doesn’t happen, we will certainly have a couple of internal camps,” Hemp concluded.