Cricket continues to be a male-dominated sport. But it is the women who are gradually and steadily peaking in the gentleman’s game. And without a doubt, one of the most mercurial breeding grounds for talent in the women’s game remains Pakistan. It is the land of Sana Mir, the domicile of Diana Baig, the home to Nain Abidi, and homes grounds where Javeria Khan has grown up batting.
Thanks to myriad forms of cricketing exposure, women are constantly finding new avenues inside the sport to express themselves. There’s the T20. There are the ODIs. Then, there are the World Cups and, there are eminent 2o-a-side leagues such as the Women’s Big Bash League, the Kia Super League, and others.
But even as Cricket continues to observe a continuance, there seem to be some inherent structural issues that are curbing its growth.
This isn’t a needless remark. This isn’t an irrational perspective. This is, in fact, the feeling of one of the women’s game’s legendary figures, Pakistan’s own Sana Mir.
Here’s what the iconic Pakistani cricketer highlighted, on the nature of the sport in her country where the women’s game stands.
There’s healthy competition in the Pakistani team. There’s a reason to compete and learn from one another, there’s this great inspiration one seeks from within the side and the team’s morale is high. Now, this is where- Sana Mir is of the view- that the country’s cricketing structure needs to improve if it is to compete successfully with other sides.
But before one goes ahead, here’s a quick perspective.
The last year wasn’t any significant where the fortunes of Pakistan women’s team stood. They, at best, dwindled with the team floundering. The Women’s Asia Cup should’ve ideally had India taking on Pakistan in the finals as one would’ve hoped, at Malaysia.
But Pakistan were nowhere.
In the ICC Women’s World T20, 2018, Pakistan were hammered and apart from few flourishes of individual flashes of brilliance from Javeria Khan, the team didn’t really reach anywhere. There were other disappointing series’ as well.
All of this, one feels, might have led Sana Mir- a veteran of the game with 112 games, 136 wickets, 6 four-for’s, and 1 five-for- to suggest that Pakistan cricket needs to strongly come up the ranks.
So here’s what seems to be the concern.
Pakistan seem to be lagging fairly behind the most powerful troika in the women’s game, including India, England, and Australia.
While exact elaborations in the direction of taking necessary steps weren’t shared, Mir’s genuine concern seems to be in the direction of the current team’s fragility in playing other stronger nations.
Who knows, perhaps Pakistan are lacking a strong and resilient batting order the most and maybe, the moment they get their batting alright, things could drastically improve. A big step in the right direction would be for Bismah Maroof to return to the top of the order and get the scoreboard ticking, no?