BY beating India in the crucial WorldT20 clash at New Delhi on Saturday, the national women’s cricket team has achieved new heights.
While their male counterparts have continued to struggle, inexplicably falling short of taming the Indian cricket teams in all ICC events since 1992, Sana Mir’s charges have quite commendably held their nerve to pull off a sensational victory over their rivals.
Their victory is made special when one takes into account the many odds stacked against them in the run-up to the high-voltage clash.
They include: curtailed training sessions, an injury to all-rounder Javeria Khan, defeat in the opening game against the West Indies, and the five-match winning streak of Mithali Raj’s team against Pakistan.
But, overcoming such obstacles, the Pakistani team, after winning the toss, surprised everyone by putting their formidable opponents in to bat, restricting them at 96. The rest, of course, is history.
A quick look at the recent graph of the team shows their pragmatic approach and faith in their own abilities to do well. They have grown in confidence and stature in international cricket.
The fact that the national women’s team today is ranked sixth in ICC rankings, with four of its players featuring among the top 20, amply reflects the great strides they have made.
The current Pakistan Cricket Board members, for once, must be praised for taking several initiatives to boost women’s cricket. Recently, in what could be termed as a landmark move, as many as 22 women players were offered central contracts by the PCB.
Having said that, the players still lack dedicated cricket grounds, nor do they have cricket clubs where their talents can be nurtured. Besides that, cultural and social values are a major hindrance among women taking up sports as a career in this country.
Pakistan’s women cricketers have a few more competitive games lined up at the World T20, and an impressive performance at the event will hopefully ensure a better future for all sportswomen in the country.
Published in Dawn, March 22nd, 2016