There’s probably a reason why women are hailed for being the more patient of the two genders.
There’s also a reason why they’re said to be inspirational.
It was as if when filling a form for one’s appearance in a contest, a woman candidate, had no option to tick a box that read – Female. This lack of response to the women’s game was painful. This one-sided, flimsy construction of cricket oozed a bias.
Why Anisa Mohammed is a legend
But over the years, if the women’s game has leapfrogged a patriarchal mindset, hitherto swinging in its celebration of the men’s game, then a lot of it goes to the developmental strategies initiated by the ICC. And on the other hand, it salutes the efforts of charismatic figures in the women’s game, one of which certainly is Anisa Mohammed.
Not since Anisa Mohammed, in the game for 15 long years, has there emerged another bowler to take over 100 T20 wickets. She was the first to get there. Not since Anisa Mohammed has there been another cricketer- regardless of formats- to have taken as many successive four-wicket-hauls in the T20s.
Part-legend, part-duty-bound, but purely-passionate, Anisa Mohammed plays for the West Indies but belongs to the women’s game as among the few inspirational figures.
In fact, no construct of the modern sport can be rendered a complete picture without admitting the pious and honest accomplishments of this Trinidadian off-spinner.
Where bowlers possess either the daring to fire in quicker deliveries and some guile to make the ball curled up in loops do the talking, Anisa Mohammed combines the two with enigmatic ease.
For someone who holds a massive record of appearances- 206 international games- it’s not only the wickets column that commands respect. Anisa was once a bubbly, enterprising 15-year-old who burst out in international cricket way back in 2003.
A great of the T20s
There were T20s then. The weirder-sounding concepts of 100-ball cricket hadn’t even remotely occurred in a frazzled mind back then. Cricket, in those times, wasn’t just about the flair of Smriti Mandhana or the elan of Chamari Atapattu.
Before a multitude of cricketing developments would engulf the women’s game, the sport, especially for women, was just about proving themselves that they could survive, especially against the looming shadow- a giant one at that- of the men’s cricket. And it has to be said, the way Anisa Mohammed has tight-walked the rope of relentless international competition on the one end to contributing to her team’s world-cup winning glory on the other calls for immense appreciation.
It’s just not her excellent record of 252 wickets that is worthy of appreciation. It’s the unremitting focus with which one of the more understated athletes in the women’s spectre competed for 15 years, on the trot, that beckons your respect.
For her cricketing contribution, merely paying a standing ovation won’t suffice. An off-break specialist who’s truly worthy of her salt- competing with grit and accepting challenges with alacrity- Anisa’s genteel conduct in the game serves a lesson of excellence, the one HR professionals print on a PowerPoint whilst guiding new employees in an organisation.
Anisa’s bedrock of talent speaks her earnest contributions toward upholding the dignity of the West Indian game, often, limited their talents’ slam-bam and merciless cracking of the ball, arguably, out of a self-induced act of stupor or fogginess.
As Anisa prepares to ready herself for the most vital tournament there it- call it, the mother of all women’s cricket battles- the ICC World T20 will once again pit her against some of the finest names in the women’s genre.
Anisa Mohammed’s task is not done yet
In that regard, neither is Anisa Mohammed’s task done, since her task is cut out- contain runs and scalp key wickets- but also, her job is to inspire the league of developing Windies talents.
Probably there cannot be a better role model to the likes of Hayley Mathews or a Qiana Joseph or Renice Boyce, than the likes of a Stefanie, Merissa or Anisa. And that she’s all of 30 but still contesting with unrelenting energy and spirit should effectively cut her out to contribute for a lot many years ahead.
Hold on to your seats ladies and yes, even you gentlemen- there’s a tornado of excitement that’s about to strike you soon in November, bearing the character of Calypso