Skipper Roche hits fine form

WHEN one of them reaches a milestone, members of the Zimbabwe U19 cricket team celebrate by doing 10 push-ups.

And with captain Liam Roche in fine form, the youngsters are getting down more often than ever.

Roche got them to do two sets after the shellacking of Kenya in a three-match series in Kwekwe last week.

The skipper has been on fire and has scores of 20, 108*, 53, 65, 11, 54 to show from his last six U19 ODI’s.

The St George’s pupil believes his good form is down to better understanding of the game.

“I cannot go on without first thanking our coaches for the hard hours they have put into making us better cricketers,” he said.

“A good performance does not come through luck, it involves commitment to sheer hard work and the coaches have been very helpful in that regard.

“As a result of all the hard work, I have developed a better understanding of cricket as well as my personal game.

“This has helped and developed me into a better player, one that has the ability to perform.”

Coach Steve Mangongo’s youngsters leave for Australia today for five One-day games against the Queensland U19 state team, and Roche would love to see his teammates doing some more push-ups Down Under.

“Yes, definitely we would love to see more milestones and they are just around the corner with the tours coming up soon,” he said.

“I believe the guys have put in the hard yards and it is just a matter of application.

“I am sure if we end up doing 100 push-ups every game it will mean we are winning on and off the field,” he said.

Roche has a book where he records all his performances and this culture is slowly rubbing onto his teammates.

“It is a way of being honest with myself and my performances throughout all our games,” said the skipper.

Roche is studying Design and Technology, Applied ICT and Cisco networking, but right now his biggest target is the 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup.

“I am working hard to get to the top of my game, lead my team to victory and be the best under 19 cricketer at the World Cup next year,” said the top order batsman.

“Looking ahead in the years to come I would like to push myself to be a part of the 2019 World Cup Squad in England/Wales.”

He says he feels “a lot better” after his knee injury sustained during the Kenya Series.

The 17-year-old is expected to leave with the team for Australia today.


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