Monali’s Musings: One On One With Divya Saxena!

While the men’s team has been busy dominating the
Desert Cup in Oman, here at home, it was time to catch
up with the captain of the Canadian women’s team, the
one and only Divya Saxena!

After a successful stint as Captain at the South American
Championships, Saxena has been quietly training away while keeping
an eye on the young squad she travelled to Brazil with. She’s an
experienced cricket herself having played seasons in both India and
Australia, as well as various tournaments across the USA. Now, all
eyes are on the preparation leading to the America’s Championships and
the possibility of another chance at a World Cup Qualifiers. Let’s
find out what Saxena’s thoughts are on the past tournament and
preparations ahead!

As newly appointed captain of the Canadian
Women’s Team, how did you feel the South
American Championships went?

“We had a successful run there, we emerged as champions of the
series. Very proud of the girls for the achievement!”
What are your thoughts on the new squad and any
players you see a lot of promise in?
“It is a fresh squad, we have some U19 girls as well. I wouldn’t like
to take any particular names as promising because I feel if we are all
given proper training then we can, as a squad, reach a much higher
level of cricket internationally.”

How were the preparations leading up to the
tournament and what is planned for the winter

“Preparations in my mind should be constant, all the time basically.
As an association and national team though there is a lot we can
strive to achieve as there are many steps in the ladder we aren’t at
the top of yet. Winter, unfortunately here is long and gruesome,
but indoor sessions for skill development is something that is in the

What is Canada’s next series, what sort of
preparations are planned? Who is involved
in the preparations?

“The next series I’m not sure where, but it’s expected around
February sometime. Cricket Canada is planning it all, and it
might be in a different region than what we are used to, so it
will be a good challenge for us and an opportunity to grow
as players and as a team. A much-needed challenge I’d say!”

In your opinion, what are Canada’s chances
of reaching the next world cup qualifiers?
What teams does Canada need to watch out
for? Do you have any insight into how the
other countries are training and preparing?

“We will be looking into a good amount of analysis before
going into the qualifiers. The thing with cricket is, you can
never take any team for granted as anything can happen in
this sport. So we definitely need to stay sharp against every
team out there, especially because everyone has a point
to prove on the big stage. The US and Brazil are getting
a good amount of series in preparation for the qualifiers.
Something similar will be good for us too, so that we can be
better prepared for the tournament.”

When do you see Canada becoming eligible
to compete at the U19 World Cup? What
needs to happen in terms of preparation and
development for Canada to get there?

“An U19 squad for Canada is possible, however, I think
there are some more preparations required for the
players before that takes action. I think a lot of mental
strength, selflessness and determination are key for any
player. It has to be the “team” first. It will take a little bit
of time, but it will get there.”

What are your personal aspirations and

“I want to achieve a lot! The World Cup! Ah, a big
ask, but…it’s Cricket and…I believe it’s possible! And,
definitely Playing lots of franchise cricket all over the

While the dates are yet to be released, the ICC America’s
Women’s Championships are to be held sometime in
2023 in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. Canada will take on
Argentina, Brazil, Mexico and the US with the winners
moving on to the World Cup Qualifiers later that year.
As Saxena said it herself, it is a long road for Canada
to reach the big leagues facing challenges of weather,
geography, and inexperience, but she is as determined
as ever to take the “team” forward! It will be intriguing
to see where Canada has a training tour scheduled to
and how intense the winter training sessions will be.
After all, the winter time is perfect to work on skills and
fitness, however, it will come down to how coach Rizwan
Cheema managers his players’ training load over such a
large geographic space.

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