India is set to face their arch-rivals Pakistan in their opening fixture of the 2022 ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup on March 6.
Though considered as one of the biggest rivalries, Pakistan’s Captain Bismah Maroof believes that the match would inspire girls across the border to take up the sport which has been gaining increasing popularity in the past few years.
“Pakistan vs India is indeed a great stage for any player to establish her credentials, but at the end of the day, it is a cricket match that has to be won by executing the basics right and keeping things simple,” Maroof said in a conversation with PTI.
“This match is a great opportunity to inspire millions of girls in Pakistan and India to take up this sport as a profession. It is the biggest rivalry and attracts innumerable eyeballs, the batting all-rounder added.
Skipper Bismah Maroof told PTI the importance of #INDvPAK match in the World Cup.#CWC22 pic.twitter.com/stfRHWgfUO
— Female Cricket (@imfemalecricket) February 17, 2022
Maroof, who took a break from the game for the birth of her first child in December 2020, is excited to be back with the squad and what has doubled her excitement is the fact that she has been able to make a comeback after becoming a mother, a responsibility that has its own set of difficulties with fitness being the key factor.
The journey from childbirth to getting here had its fair share of difficulties, as I had to start from scratch to regain my fitness,”
“Women don’t often return to sports or continue their professional careers after getting married or childbirth.
“I spent a lot of time doing strength and conditioning sessions at the National High-Performance Centre in Lahore,” she said.
The senior-most player among Pakistan’s 18 players squad for the World Cup also praised Mithali Raj led India calling them a good unit that has done well lately and has some good youngsters coming up. Maroof who feels that it is her duty to inspire the team and lead by example further went on to share that Pakistan, who has won just 2 matches in the 4 World Cup appearances they have made so far, is aiming to make at least to the semi-finals this year with the belief that the side has all the ingredients to achieve it.
Maroof who is Pakistan’s 3rd most-capped women’s ODI player expressed her gratitude to her family and the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) who have helped her make a successful comeback.
“It has been an incredible journey and I have thoroughly enjoyed it. Being a cricketer has designed my life and played a very important role in the person I am today. There have been ups and downs, which have made me learn,”
“I am very excited to be back. It feels like I am making my debut again for Pakistan. I am grateful to my family, especially my husband who has supported me immensely throughout this phase. I also want to mention the support that the Pakistan Cricket Board has provided me through the parental policy.”
Author of the poetry book ‘The Scent of Rhythm’, I am a passionate writer and a Sports enthusiast who writes on Cricket and plays Badminton.