THE country’s most celebrated women cricketer Sana Mir has added yet another feather to her cap by becoming the most successful ODI spinner in the annals of women’s cricket.
A brilliant all-rounder, Sana reached the coveted milestone of 146 wickets in only her 118th ODI while playing against South Africa at Benoni on Sunday.
The 33-year-old overtook Anisa Mohammed of the West Indies and Lisa Sthalekar of Australia to clinch the honour. Since her ODI debut back in 2005, Sana has made great strides in the game.
In October 2018, she became the first Pakistani women cricketer to take the number one position in the ICC ODI bowler rankings; she has led Pakistan to two gold medals at the Asian Games in 2010 and 2014; and was announced Player of the Tournament at the 2008 Women’s World Cup Qualifiers.
Needless to say, her performances have been the cornerstone of the women’s team’s success in international cricket that has included a series win over the West Indies and a drawn series against the formidable South Africa this month.
More importantly, Sana has been an inspirational figure for her colleagues and a role model for young players including current captain Bismah Maroof, Aliya Riaz, Javeria Wadood, Kainat Imtiaz, Nahida Khan, Nida Dar, Sidra Nawaz, Diana Baig and many others who form a competitive unit today.
She has also led Pakistan confidently in the past and inculcated a culture of teamwork and discipline reflective in her own performances.
Having said that, life has not been a bed of roses for Sana who started playing cricket in the streets. She has had to tackle many challenges on her way to glory.
She is part of a culture where neglectful officials, lack of training venues, scant facilities, poor media coverage and snubs from sponsors have dogged women’s cricket.
That she has taken it all on the chin to emerge taller each time makes Sana Mir really special and a living legend of Pakistan women’s cricket.
Published in Dawn, May 14th, 2019