Sports / Cricket
The Mdingi Express has arrived!: Charms women's cricket team
17 Apr 2016 at 09:49hrs | Views
South African cricket legend Makhaya Ntini has brought a buzz to the Zimbabwe women's cricket team camp ahead of this week's ICC Africa World T20 Qualifiers.
Ntini, the Chevrons bowling coach, has been helping the women fine-tune for a tourney that comes to life on Saturday and runs until April 27.
Hosts Zimbabwe will have to shrug off the challenge of Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania to bag a ticket to the final qualification round.
And the presence of Ntini, a man who has seen it all, has given the women's national team a huge boost and head coach Trevor Phiri and his charges were last week upbeat.
"I am happy with the progress we have made, we want to continue moving forward and keep climbing the ladder," he said. "We were so lucky that we had Makhaya coming to help with the fitness. He urged the girls to believe in themselves and he also emphasised on the need to work as a team.
"Having such a cricket legend at training has gone a long way in getting the girls motivated for this tournament. Everyone is rearing to go and cannot wait for the first ball to be bowled."
Zimbabwe open their campaign against Tanzania and Uganda and Phiri has urged his charges to relax and make use of home advantage.
"Playing at home, I believe the players won't put themselves under pressure, we have played in front of bigger crowds before albeit away from home and this experience should not unsettle them. You never know we may have some shockers at the end of the day but I am hopeful that we will make it."
The tournament winner will progress to the World Qualifiers whose dates are yet to be announced and top order batter Ashley Ndiraya wants Zimbabwe to be that team.
"We have to show what we are capable of during this tournament," said the sister to former Dynamos Football Club coach Tonderayi Ndiraya.
"Working with Makhaya Ntini has been tough and exciting at the same time. We are much fitter and confident after our sessions with him. The guy has played at the highest level and his advice has been very helpful.
"We are very confident of winning, we have played all these teams before and I believe we stand a really good chance.
"There will be some pressure obviously, expectations are high since we are playing at home but I believe it's up to us to make sure that playing at home is advantageous and not a hindrance."
Source - sundmail