New Pakistan women's coach David Hemp targets World Cup title charge

Faizan Lakhani
David Hemp. Photo: File 

Pakistan women's cricket team head coach David Hemp has prioritised qualifying for the ICC World Cup 2022 in New Zealand for which he aims to do so through consistent performance. 

In an exclusive interview with Geo Super, the former Bermudian batsman said that he is looking to bring the team among the top four women cricket teams in the world.

"For me personally it would be great to be genuine contenders of the World Cup. I think that's where ultimately I'd like to take it. You can't guarantee that you'll win, but there's an expectation there that we can actually be very successful. So that's where I'd like to get to," he said.

“Obviously the first call is just get consistency in performance from a team perspective and also individually."

The Pakistan Cricket Board had last week named Hemp as new head coach of Pakistan women cricket team. 

READ: Bermudian David Hemp appointed Pakistan Women’s head coach

Hemp is a UK-qualified level four coach who has held coaching roles with Prahran Cricket Club, Australia's team for cricketers with intellectual disabilities and was a director of coaching at Scotch College.

His first assignment with Pakistan will be the ICC Women's World Cup Qualifier next year. 

He is set to arrive in Pakistan on October 18 and will join the team in the high performance camp in Karachi.

"For me, the first starting point is to get to know the players, to understand where the team currently sits. What we need to do is to put ourselves in a position on where going into the next World Cup," he said. 

"We can actually make people like us stand up and look at how we play. So that's the key to it, first of all, understand where we are and then coming together to decide how are we going to take things forward,” he said.

READ: After 7 months out, Javeria Khan says she's excited to play cricket again

The coach was also asked about his first impression of Pakistan women cricket team 

"I first came across the Pakistan side a couple of years ago in 2018 when Australia toured Malaysia because some of the players I coached in Victoria were making their debuts across there. I thought there was certainly talent and ability there. During recent world cup I saw some of the highlights and I could see that there was there was certainly ability within the players that were on show."

He stressed that consistency in performance can help players get noticed globally, including by the Women Big Bash teams who are now looking beyond signing Australians, New Zealanders and South African women cricketers.

“The biggest way to get noticed is to perform consistently for your country that way they can be involved with the Big Bash team. So the first point is to perform well for Pakistan."

Pakistan vs Australia cricketers 

Comparing Pakistani and Australian women cricketers, the newly appointed head coach said that the latter fared better as they are physically stronger because of the training program they are involved in.

He highlighted that their ability to put big scores and smartly playing for singles and twos was also a factor as well. 

"Players are actually physically stronger, so that's a big point as well as batsmanship and execution is also around, you know, being smart, having awareness of your single options, making sure you clinical when you hit the gaps,” he said.

“It's not just about the strength [to hit boundaries]. It's about being smart as well. So where can you get singles? Can you get 2s? But also the best players, they hit the gap more often or not and don't pick outfielders. So that's another challenge for them."

Meanwhile Hemp said that to extending the pool of female cricketers in Pakistan is a challenge and added that it is important to normalise playing the sport in the streets. 

"There's more exposure for those female players at national level and what that does is create aspirations for young players. If I go back to my experiences within Australia, I was amazed how many girls talk about their experiences playing in what they call their backyard with their brothers and their dads. I'm sure that that's exactly the same case in Pakistan."

“I'm sure that the PCB is looking at ways in which they can increase participation numbers, which is the starting point, but it's also then making sure that there's a genuine career path for female players to follow just as there would be in the male game,” he concluded.

New Pakistan women's coach David Hemp targets World Cup title charge