Investment in providing structure underneath will see players grow in time, says David Hemp

David Hemp has coached Melbourne Stars in the WBBL. © Getty Images

Pakistan head coach David Hemp said ICC ranking doesn’t actually reflect where they are in terms of ability and skill level and a proper structure underneath will see the players grow in time. “ICC rankings rank us at seventh,  I think that’s a little bit false,” Help said on Sunday (November 29) on the sidelines of National Triangular T20 Championship that started on November 22.

“From what I’ve seen, the skill level, I think is very, very high. The player numbers aren’t as much as in Australia, but in terms of the actual skill level and ability, it’s up there,” said the newly-appointed coach as Pakistan players returned to cricket post-COVID-19 lockdown.

Three teams- PCB Blasters, PCB Challengers and PCB Dynamites- played each other twice in the round-robin league with Challengers and Dynamites making it to the finals to be played on December 1.

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“One of the big areas for me is game awareness, but that comes from playing as much cricket as you can. So that’s an area that we’re certainly trying to look at from a board’s point of view. These tournaments that we’re at today are excellent in terms of giving exposing players to game situations,” said the former Bermuda international.

“We can play domestically and then hopefully expose our players to tournaments abroad. But for us, it’ll be certainly be looking at camps, can we play more games on camps just to get that more game awareness. I think that’s probably the area that we’re falling short at the moment.”

Hemp, who played 24 international matches for Bermuda, lauded the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) for its decision to pay the players more but feels the players will grow more when proper investments are made in various aspects of the game.

“I think you need to invest in your players. That means not just giving them more money. It means giving them more opportunities to train, more coaching resources so there is more contact,” he said. “The board has put in certainly more money in terms of paying players. So that’s obviously one positive. That means the players are not looking for work outside of their cricket.”

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“But it’s not just about paying players more money, it’s about providing the structure underneath, also providing resources, more coaches, not just cricket coaches, but also SNCs making sure players get access to physios, even analysts, so that the whole the investment is across the whole board. The more that continues, then you certainly will see growth. I believe you see a growth in the line that we wanted to go in, but it might take time,” he explained.

Aliya Riaz, Muneeba Ali and Rameen Shamim were named captains of the three sides in the competition ahead of the senior players. The 50-year-old Hemp believes it will it’s a great learning experience for the young trio and added that having to make decisions and manage other players will help them grow their game and become leaders in the future.

“It exposes young players to the challenge of actually captaining a side and managing a side and that pressure of having to make decisions that impact the game. So, from that point of view, it’s a great learning experience,” Hemp added.

“It’s understanding that the game does fluctuate and change and captains are put in those awkward positions. So, the more we can put players in uncomfortable positions, the more they’ll grow, will hopefully grow, learn from it and then be able to adapt when they find themselves in those situations. The more we can get people thinking like leaders will help the whole group as a whole.”