Saudi Arabia women's team out to use bowling championship debut as springboard to success

The Saudi women's team came fifth in their Arab Championship debut in Cairo. (Supplied)
Updated 21 February 2019

Saudi Arabia women's team out to use bowling championship debut as springboard to success

  • Bowlers determined to use experience as a positive.
  • “It was an amazing experience" declares Mashael Abdulwahid.

LONDON: The Saudi Arabia women’s team have vowed they will only get better after their first appearance at the Arab Bowling Championship.

The team of four finished in seventh spot in the team event but are hopeful that the experience could prove to be a springboard to future success and greater participation of Saudi women.

The competition was won by the hosts Egypt, with Oman claiming silver and Bahrain the bronze. But even though they ended their first participation in the tournament out of medal contention, the team were happy with how it went and hopeful for the future. 

“It was an amazing experience everyone was very supportive,” Mashael Abdulwahid, who has been playing since her childhood, said.

“I was overwhelmed on the first day because of the attendance of many high officials and many professional athletes. it was the first time to be in such an atmosphere but I got over it now. 

“I learned a lot and will work on my mistakes to make it better next time.” 

Dana Alfaraj, the youngest team member said they did not know how good the other competitors were. 

“We are happy we got this chance and happy the Saudi federation is very supportive. We will work hard to make our country proud, it’s a huge responsibility and we are up to it,” she said. 

Australia's Usman Khawaja not thinking about World Cup spot with series against Pakistan to be won in UAE

Updated 51 min 40 sec ago

Australia's Usman Khawaja not thinking about World Cup spot with series against Pakistan to be won in UAE

  • Batsman's place under threat thanks to return of disgraced duo Steve Smith and David Warner.
  • Aussie s 2-0 up against Pakistan with third ODI taking place in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday.

LONDON: Usman Khawaja is trying not to think about playing for a World Cup place ahead of today’s third ODI against Pakistan in Abu Dhabi.
Australia are 2-0 up in the five-match series but with the World Cup only two months away players are playing for their places in the tournament.
Despite scoring two 100s and four 50s in his past 10 innings since he was recalled to the Australia squad Khawaja’s place is under threat by the imminent return of David Warner and Steve Smith.
The disgraced duo are set to return after their year-long ban for ball tampering and currently playing in the Indian Premier League.
But that does not bother Khawaja who already has scored 24 and 88 in the first two ODI’s in the UAE.
“It’s (World Cup) a long way away. For me, it’s (about) the next three games, (Warner’s return) is not something I have thought about at all. I am just enjoying playing one-day cricket,” the 32-year-old said.
Australia and Khawaja have suddenly come into form at just the right time. They won 3-2 in India and are already 2-0 up against Pakistan. But all too aware that complacency can set in and keen to keep up the winning habit as they prepare for the World Cup, Khawaja has told his teammates to take nothing for granted.
“We saw in India they were 2-0 up and we came back to win that series. It is never quite over. We cannot take it easy now, we have got to finish it off that next game, we cannot relax, we can’t think that we have done all the hard work and that we are fine now,” the batsman said.
“There are still three games left and three games is a long time in cricket. We want to be really clinical and we have got to keep doing it over and over again. Winning’s a habit, so hopefully, we can make it a habit.”
Pakistan go into the clash under fire for comments made by their skipper Shoaib Malik after the defeat in Sharjah on Sunday. Having seen his side trounced by eight wickets Shoaib said Pakistan were simply using the series to “test their bench strength (ahead of the World Cup” and that “winning or losing doesn’t make a difference.”
The pressure is on the hosts and they will be looking for their attack to show some fire. The quicker bowlers in particular have struggled to put Australia under pressure with the new ball, having taken just four wickets all series, conceding a mammoth 566 runs.