Australian cricket star Lisa Sthalekar was in Buenos Aires, Argentina for a coaching clinic organized for local female players this week.
The three day camp, from 27 to 29 May, was attended by 18 Argentine female cricketers each day, and overall was an incredible success and huge boost for local women's cricket.
Sthalekar is undoubtedly one of the greats of the modern women's game, having played 8 Test's, 103 ODI's and 33 T20I's since her international debut in 2001. The Indian-born all-rounder, who plays for New South Wales Breakers in Australia, has scored centuries and taken 5-wicket hauls at both Test and ODI level.
Her visit to Buenos Aires also included a meeting with the senior men's national team, preparing for the ICC Americas T20 Championship in July. The coaching clinic was carried out over three days, the first day a complete batting and bowling net session at Belgrano Athletic Club, which gave Sthalekar a good overview of the Argentine players' technical skills.
On day two, at St.George's College, a full day of activity included an intensive fielding session in the morning, followed by batting and bowling drills, concluding with an indoor tactics and strategy session, during which videos of international female cricketers were analysed. The third and final day at the Hurlingham Club, a middle session was broken down into game scenarios, especially relevant to T20 cricket as the Argentine women's team, known as the "Flamingo's", prepare for the South American Championship to be held in Brazil in August.
"For me personally, and for all of us here, having Lisa here was an incredible experience," said Argentina women's captain Veronica Vasquez. "Her knowledge and experience and skill is amazing, and we all learnt a lot, I especially learnt a lot from her about the tactical side of the game which will help my captaincy a lot."
Sthalekar's visit will hopefully precipitate closer ties between women's cricket in New South Wales, Australia and in Argentina, and it is hoped another NSW player will visit Argentina later in the year to coach and accompany the national women's team to the South American championship, as well as spending some time coaching at various clubs in Argentina.
"The reaction of the female cricketers here to Lisa's visit and coaching sessions has been fantastic, it has been a real boost for them," said Argentine Cricket Association CEO, Grant Dugmore. "Her enthusiasm for coaching and the game really motivated the local players, and I have no doubt her visit will generate a fresh wave of interest in women's cricket here. It's great that a current international player, and a real star at that, gave up her time to share her knowledge and expertise with so much passion, and it was a fantastic experience for everyone involved."