The Sunday Mail
SHE does occasional one-on-one training sessions with Sikandar Raza and she doesn’t hesitate joining some fitness fanatics for the odd extra session.
She is Anesu Catherine Mushangwe, Zimbabwe women’s team leg-spinner who was the best player of the Victoria Tri Series held in Kampala, Uganda early April.
Kenya, Zimbabwe and host Uganda participated.
Mushangwe is beaming with confidence as Zimbabwe prepares to host the ICC World T-20 qualifiers for the African region, which will be held from May 5-13 in Harare.
“I am feeling excited, can’t wait for the games to be played,” she said.
“Considering how we played in Uganda, it boosted our confidence as a team.
“(My confidence is) not ‘sky high’ as such but I’m confident. . .anything can happen in the game of cricket.”
The 23-year-old leg spinner took seven wickets in four matches and was the second best batsman with 77 runs from four innings in the Victoria Tri Series.
“My performance in Uganda was okay; I bowled and batted quite well.
“However, I feel I have a lot to work to do, if I’m to do better than what I did in Uganda,” said Mushangwe who has nine T20I caps for Zimbabwe.
As the Zimbabwe women’s cricket team was conducting a centre wicket training session last Wednesday, Anesu was missing.
Where was Anesu Mushangwe?
“I’m at school and it’s one thing that creates pressure in me (though I try by all means to manage it).
“I do find some time to practice here at school but it’s different from the team’s practice.
“This is because there are no cricket facilities in Zvishavane,” said the Midlands State University student who is concluding a final semester of her History and International studies honours degree.
“When it comes to balancing the two; trust me, it has been a difficult journey but I manage.
“I make sure I maintain my cricket form by doing some batting and bowling drills at school and with school I usually do my assignments in advance or during tours, also study during camps and tours.”
Indeed, she goes the extra mile on her skills and fitness training, hence occasional sessions with Raza.
“I have learnt a lot of things from him. One thing I always remember from him is emphasizing more on confidence, being confident to express yourself,” she said.
Anesu mentions some of the people who have helped her.
“Kuda Chirume (Mountaineers bowler) helped me a lot with my fitness. There are people who helped me from scratch, Alois Tichana, Never Lundu and Christabel Chatonzwa.”
What started as playing for fun as a form two pupil at Seke 1 High has thrived into a super story for Mushangwe who is daring to dream big.
“Playing for big teams, big bash, also to play county, premier league, club cricket abroad just to enhance my cricket skills and knowledge.”
Raza had this to say about Anesu.
“She is a very keen learner and that’s her secret to success.”