ACC Women's Committee Member and Pakistan Cricket Board Women's Cricket Manager Shamsa Hashmi completed a 16-day assignment in Iran last month. "I was thrilled to see the enthusiasm among the young girls. They were all very motivated and keen to learn the game," says Ms. Hashmi.

An Iranian Level I-qualified lady coach Mozhdeh Bavandpour assisted Ms. Hashmi throughout, as the 30 women (U-19 and seniors) were put through a comprehensive training plan specially designed for them.

Each day was divided into morning and evening sessions: fitness and fielding, skill development and net matrix. Classroom sessions were slotted in amidst the field work. The fortnight ended with a hard-fought and passionately supported 20-over match.

"We have never worked so hard in our life," said one of the participants afterwards, "our knowledge of the game increased 1000% and with the strength and conditioning program given to us we are so much better."

"I have found the girls as quick learners not only of what was being taught to them but also by watching others doing the same drills," says Ms. Hashmi. "They were able to make quick adjustments. As far as the physical fitness was concerned I found them very athletic with good fitness standards."

"I have every reason to believe that if these young girls are provided with regular training, practice areas, parental support and encouragement from sponsors, they will definitely become a very good team," concluded Ms. Hashmi.

Iran will be competing in the ACC U-19 Women's Championship in December.

Country Profile: Iran

Filed September 8, 2008