Name: Helao Ya France
Date of Birth: 23/04/1990
Place of Birth: Windhoek
Marital Status: Single
Current club: CCD Tigers
Previous Clubs: None
Favourite local or international cricketer? Locally, it’s Zane Green, and India’s Virat Kholi is my favourite international cricketer.
Your most memorable tournament? The 2019 T20 World Cup Qualifier in Dubai.
Your toughest tournament? I would say it’s also the 2019 T20 World Cup Qualifier in Dubai.
Biggest career disappointment? Dropping a dolly of Basil Hameed on his second ball against Oman in January; still not sure how that happened.
Who is the biggest influence on your career? The biggest influence has to be my late father Ponhele Ya France. Without him, I don’t think I would have been in the position that I am today. I cannot emphasise how much of a role he played throughout my upbringing. All the sacrifices he made to enable me to peruse my dreams and the game I love.
If not cricket, which other sport would you have played? Probably football; I was a top goalkeeper in my early days but unfortunately, due to the clashing of training times, I had to choose cricket.
Do you think attitude is a big factor in winning? Attitude is everything when it comes to winning; when you look and study elite athletes who excel in their specific sport codes, you can immediately identify that their attitude plays a massive role in how they excel.
Besides cricket, what are your other hobbies? I’m quite the book worm. I enjoy researching various topics and individuals. In addition, I enjoy travelling, socialising and just spending time with family and friends, knowing how much time the game of cricket takes up. I enjoy going up north to our farm in the Omuthiya district to appreciate and realise how fortunate we are to be in the position to be doing something we love.
What is your training schedule like? Do you practice every day? Yes, we train every day. Our day usually starts with an early gym session at around 6 am, followed by a net session at around 11 am. On the good days, we have a fielding session in the afternoons. It’s quite physically demanding at times, but we enjoy the challenge.
Do you have a special routine or superstition before a big game? No, not really; I just try to focus on implementing what I’ve been training in the nets into the middle. You have to trust your preparation.
What are your strengths both as an athlete and person? I believe I inspire individuals and my teammates as an athlete. Besides that, I think I also possess leadership skills on and off the cricket field.
To get to where you are today, especially being one of the few cricketers of colour, what are some of the challenges you had to overcome? Every cricketer has faced some sort of challenges to be playing at the level we are currently playing, so my challenges won’t be anything new. However, I try to convince and motivate young players of colour that nothing is impossible. With the current stakeholders surrounding Cricket Namibia, if you are good enough and show some sort of ability/potential, you will deservedly get your opportunity. And once you get that opportunity, grab it with both hands!
With Namibia having qualified for this year’s T20 World Cup in Australia, do you see it as a sign of local cricket moving in the right direction? Yes, definitely! After the appointment of our new head coach Pierre de Bruyn and the change he has brought within our cricketing culture, cricket in Namibia is headed in the right direction.
Comparing experiences, what does Namibia need to do for cricket to catch up with the rest of the world? I think as Namibians, we need to stop thinking that just taking part is good enough and adopt the mindset that we can compete with any nation, and believe that with the required hard work and the right coaching staff (management included), we can surpass any goal set before us. However, at the same time, we need to increase the numbers of players coming through the age groups. Competition for places is one of the few methods to make individuals work harder. Looking at the geographical plain of Namibia, it’s no secret where the majority of the population is located.
Your plans for 2020 and beyond? To survive 2020 and enjoy life.
2020-06-18 09:09:00 | 3 months ago