Victoria Pearls coach Suraj Karavadra stopped the traffic here yesterday. The 30-year-old tactician asked his girls to literally wrap up themselves in their white-linen bedsheets and cool off all-day long at Avani Resort & Casino in Gaborone after they earned the right to stay here and take part in the business end of the tournament.
The national women’s cricket team have been busy bodies since arriving in this mineral-rich southern Africa nation last Tuesday with not only back-to-back matches but with also improvised training sessions whenever.
After doing a lot of heavy-lifting and earning two rest days, coach Karavadra didn’t want her girls to have anything to do with cricket.
Having played on the dry super-fast outfields and with many of their bodies bruised as they ‘died a little’ for their nation, the British-Indian’s call is one seen as to allow the girls recover from any niggles and fatigue as the temperatures have threatened to hit 40 degrees Celsius on some days.
Taking it easy
“We haven’t played international cricket in 24 months and the schedule here is punishing. When you get two-day offs, the best thing is to let the players relax and may be just do formal sessions,” said Karavadra, who is four months old into this role.
“This helps us to revisit our processes and mission and how we can achieve our set goals. We have comeback well into the tournament after losing the opener to Namibia. To win, three successive games with improved margins is proof that we have gelled well.”
Uganda are lined up to play Zimbabwe in tomorrow’s epic semifinal at Botswana Cricket Association (BCA) Oval I in a fixture that will evoke memories of 2017 when the Victoria Pearls upstaged the Lady Chevrons to become African Queens and represented the continent at the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup Global Qualifier in Netherlands 2018.
Karavadra wants more of the same and believes it is possible. “The good thing is that Zimbabwe don’t want to play us a lot. For us, we need to tighten all the remaining loose knots and continue to work on our processes. We still want to go hard, go for the kill and win big. This is the time to deliver,” added the gather, whose grandfather’s roots are from Kenya, Tanzania and Jinja.
Assistant coach Alpha Adowa concurs with the head coach and pumps up the volume by disclosing that his brigade cannot wait to play Zimbabwe. “All our girls want to play Zimbabwe. And we have no major injuries. The 11 picked will want to outdo themselves.”
Zimbabwe coach Adam Chifo, who boasts of nine-man strong technical bench, will equally be up to the challenge to find the right tactics to dispatch Uganda and prove to the continent that they’re not African Queens by mistake.
ICC WOMEN’S T20WCAQ
Today: Group B – BCA Oval 2
3.30pm: Rwanda vs. Zimbabwe
Group A – BCA Oval 1
10.15am: Mozambique vs. Eswatini
3.15pm: Tanzania vs. Botswana
Tomorrow – Semifinals
10.15am: Zimbabwe vs. Uganda
3.15pm: Namibia vs. Tanzania/Rwanda/Botswana