Sana Mir: The Unsung Hero of the Pakistan Cricket

“Pakistan will never have another player like Sana Mir”.- Mark Coles

Sana Mir is extraordinary. Perhaps, that in itself is an understatement and a disservice to what a terrific cricketer she is. Quite literally, she changed the destiny of women’s cricket in Pakistan. She transcended the social conventions and boundaries that limit women in Pakistan and in what style!

Sana Mir
Sana Mir. Pic Credits: PCB

 

Her accomplishments on the field are known to one and all but it is her efforts off the field that has set her apart and etched her name in the history books for the right reasons. She is not just the face of women’s cricket in Pakistan but a beacon of light guiding the women’s team through the toughest of times.

A national icon, she has continually made Pakistan proud at the international level and thanks to her contributions, there has been a massive change in the way women’s cricket is perceived in Pakistan. She broke all the shackles of limitations that are often imposed on a young girl. She is undoubtedly the best cricketer for women Pakistan has ever produced. Mir, who made her international debut in 2005, had a 15-year-long career and grabbed 151 wickets at an average of 24.27 in 120 ODIs and 89 wickets at 23.42 in 106 T20Is. In addition, she amassed 1630 runs at 17.91 in ODIs and 802 runs at 14.07 in T20Is. She has a lot of firsts to her name, leading Pakistan to their first win versus India in an ICC event, and being the first to scalp 100 wickets in Women’s ODIs and in 2018, she also became the first Pakistani woman cricketer to secure the number 1 ranking in the ICC ODI bowler rankings. In addition to the two Asiad gold medals, she has guided her team to victories over all major test playing countries, including series victories over Sri Lanka, Ireland, Bangladesh, and South Africa. Additionally, during her tenure, Pakistan qualified for each of the ICC events but in spite of all this, it is her grit and determination that makes her one-of-a-kind.

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Sana Mir
Sana Mir. Pic Credits: ICC/Twitter

 

With the most wickets for Pakistan in ODIs and the second-most in T20Is after Nida Dar, Mir retired in 2020. For posterity when we look back, 2014 was her most fruitful year; in 11 ODIs, he got 21 wickets at an average of 12.57. She won two gold medals in the Asian Games in 2010 and 2014. She led Pakistan in 72 of the ODIs, winning 26 and losing 45. Pakistan has a 26–36 record in her 65 T20 Internationals as captain. After the 2016 Women’s World T20, she gave up her position as T20I captain. In 2017, when Bismah Maroof was promoted to the position by the PCB, she also lost her position as ODI captain. Although the last part of her was messy, that does not take away from all her contributions.

Pakistan Skipper Sana Mir joins FICA Board as an Independent Director. PC: Twitter
Pakistan Skipper Sana Mir joins FICA Board as an Independent Director. PC: Twitter

She raised the popularity of women’s cricket in Pakistan and boosted perceptions of Pakistan internationally with her performances. Her tendency to genuinely care about the women’s game distinguishes her as a leader rather than just a captain. She actively is engaged in the home domestic set-up that is in search of new and talented players. She frequently focuses on motivating players to keep going. To remain with her players, she declines to travel and eat in more opulent settings. She requests higher wages and benefits and is everything you would want from a player. She sees her players as minor revolutionaries in the fight to alter people’s perspectives, in addition to being professionals which is nothing short of remarkable.

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Sana Mir - Pakistan's Most celebrated cricketers of all time. PC: Getty Images
Sana Mir – Pakistan’s Most celebrated cricketer of all time. PC: Getty Images

 

In a nutshell, she is the game’s pivotal character for Pakistan. She is still far from over with her contributions and Sana is a genuine cricketing icon who has inspired, motivated, and attracted future female cricketers not just in Pakistan but across the world. She not just broke the glass ceiling but paved the way for women’s cricket in Pakistan to greater heights. It is rightly said, “Not all superheroes wear capes” and this is apt for Sana Mir, the girl who played gully cricket with boys seven-eight years older than her and captained them because she never listened to others and rightfully so.

Read this Twitter thread to know more about Sana Mir

I am a first year postgraduate student pursuing a MA in Media and Communication Studies at Christ University, Bengaluru. I am a podcaster, blogger and an avid cricket fan. When not glued to cricket matches, you can find me submerged in books and thinking about cricket all the time.

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