Cricket, like anything else, retains certain elements without which it wouldn’t possess the sort of fanbase we now get to see. One such element is rivalry. One such team involved in colossal rivalry is Team Pakistan. While this is true for the men, Pakistan is yet to mark its territory in women’s cricket. That being said, this does not mean that it can’t. The upcoming Women’s World Cup Qualifier presents the perfect occasion for the Pakistan women to show how proficient they truly are and then, go on and play the World Cup.
History of Pakistan Women’s Cricket Team
The history of women’s cricket in Pakistan was pretty eventful and dates back to 1996. Their development was a much-delayed one due to conservative rulings regarding women playing cricket. Amongst these restrictions and other infrastructural concerns, it was two sisters – Shaiza and Sharmeen Khan who took it upon their shoulders to make a change by introducing female cricket in their country. A year later, the team made their international ODI debut against New Zealand.
Current Status of Pakistan Women’s Cricket Team
Since their debut in 1997, Pakistan has played 173 ODIs out of which, only 50 have gone their way. They have been uprooted over 100 times by their counterparts ensuring that the team will require a considerable amount of time to turn this record around. This year, they have played 8 matches, winning just 2. Their last encounter was vs the West Indies Women at Coolidge Cricket Ground, Antigua on the 18th of July, earlier this year. This was an over-reduced match in which both sides batted 34 overs each, and Pakistan came out on top winning by 22 runs via the Duckworth-Lewis method. Fatima Sana was adjudged player of the match for her excellent all-around performance scoring 28*(19) and picking 5/39 (7). However, Pakistan lost the overall series to the Windies Women by 2-3.
Key Players from Pakistan Women’s Cricket Team
1. Nashra Sandhu
Currently, on the 22nd spot of the ICC Bowling Ranks with a rating of 522, Lahore’s Nashra Sandhu is one of the top contenders of the Pakistan team to prosper in this tournament. Sandhu is a left-arm leg-spinner, or as referred to by the cricketing fraternity-chinaman. She has played 38 matches since her debut in 2017 and picked up 50 scalps at a remarkable economy of 4.29, averaging 28. She has been a constant part of the team and her inclusion to the side is expected to considerably strengthen their bowling attack.
2. Nida Dar
34-year-old Nida Dar from Gujranwala has the highest rating in her team ICC all-rounder rankings and honestly, why wouldn’t she? Dar is a player of immense caliber and experience who has played 82 ODIs and scored 1186 runs alongside picking 73 wickets with off-spin. She has averages of 17.2 and 31 respectively and her addition to the team is expected to produce stability and flow in what one might currently call them- an inconsistent team.
3. Javeria Khan
Javeria Khan Wadood, the 33-year-old from Karachi will not only be a part of the team as an all-rounder but also as the captain. Time and again, we have heard and seen how captaincy can affect the game of a player- good and bad. Just like before, her fans will continue to hope that this position of authority extracts the best player and leader in her. So far, in her 111 international ODI appearances, she has scored 2777 runs and picked up 17 wickets at decent strike rates of 63.1 and 50.6 respectively.
Javeria Khan (c)
Sidra Nawaz (wk)
We all are aware of the setbacks Pakistani cricketers-male or female have faced in recent years. The most well-known of these is the lack of international matches due to apparent security reasons. While as a viewer this may not seem like a big deal, only the ones truly impacted by this can convey their shortcomings. One such shortcoming is a lack of exposure- for existing and forthcoming players. This not only makes them less prepared to play internationally but also discourages young girls and their families from taking cricket seriously due to the idea that it may not have a future in the country. However, by striving against these odds and many more, the Pakistanis have regained their international status in recent times and their inclusion in a competition like the World Cup will do wonders in undoing the damage, little by little.
Pakistan vs Bangladesh – 21st November
Pakistan vs Thailand – 23rd November
Pakistan vs Zimbabwe – 27th November
Pakistan vs USA – 29th November
David Hemp (Head Coach)
(Not announced for Qualifier)
Student, Athlete, and Cricket Enthusiast.