Goa’s women cricketers to get Israeli martial arts boost

Panaji, Feb 10 (IANS) The Goa Cricket Association (GCA) has contacted an Israeli martial arts school to develop self-defence workshops for its women’s Under-19 and Under-21 teams to boost the players’ mental and physical fitness and develop a winning instinct.

The GCA will seek to benefit from the Israeli martial art technique, named Krav Maga. It is a self-defence technique pioneered first by the Israeli armed forces, but over the years it has found followers across the globe.

The martial art is a combination of various forms of fighting like boxing, aikido, judo, wrestling and is considered as one of the better fighting arts, especially when it comes to real-world combat scenarios.

Elroy Vaz, an expert of the technique of the Krav Maga Global (KMG) who has been roped in by the GCA, said the martial art would help make the women players mentally tougher and react better to tough situations in the game.

“Our brief is to instill a spirit of aggression into the players in the Under-19 and Under-21 age groups. We will be conducting workshops where their mental and physical techniques would be developed with the help of Krav Maga,” Vaz told IANS on Wednesday.

Vaz says he has already devised several on-field scenarios for women batsmen and bowlers, in which, infusion of Krav Maga techniques would help them respond better.

“Mental toughness and qualitative reactions are essential when say a batsman is being hounded by a fast bowler with bouncers. With Krav Maga techniques, we not only can help the batsmen react better physically, but also help them to develop a winning edge in their thought processes,” Vaz said.

The KMG is one of the foremost exponents of the martial art globally. It has been used to train the elite Indian Navy’s marine commandos or MARCOS, best remembered for their anti-terror operation following the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks.

According to GCA president Chetan Desai, the decision to enlist Krav Maga experts was taken to ensure that women cricketers benefit from it professionally as well as for self-defence.

“It helps to be prepared. We are hoping that it will help develop a winning instinct in the team,” Desai said.

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