LAHORE: Nida Dar has become the first Pakistan woman cricketer to feature in a foreign league after she was selected by Sydney Thunder as their overseas professional player in Australia’s Women’s Big Bash League, which will be played from Oct 18 to Dec 8.
Nida has played 71 ODIs and 96 T20Is since making her international debut in 2010 and will leave for Sydney on Saturday, before rejoining the national team in Kuala Lumpur on Dec 1 for the ICC Women’s Championship fixture against England, which means she will not available for Pakistan for the home series against Bangladesh, starting from Oct 26.
Sydney Thunder will be in action on the opening day of the tournament when they will take on Sydney Sixers in a derby match.
“I am delighted to get this opportunity, which, I hope will open doors for my other Pakistan team-mates,” Nida told the PCB Podcast.
“The Women’s Big Bash League is an extremely tough event and while I am keen to make a name for myself, I aim to learn as much cricket as possible, which, in turn, will help me improve as a cricketer.
“The opportunity to play in Australia couldn’t have come at a better time as they also host the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup 2020 from 21 February to 8 March. I am hoping the experience I will gain by playing in the Women’s Big Bash League will allow me to provide my feedback to the Pakistan team management which, in turn, will help us prepare better for the global tournament.”
As participation in the Women’s Big Bash League is being seen as a critical and timely experience that will benefit both Nida and the Pakistan women’s cricket team for the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup Australia 2020, a strategic decision has been made to exempt her from the home series against Bangladesh from 26 October to 4 November, the PCB says. The series against Bangladesh will count towards the ICC team ranking but is not be part of the ICC Women’s Championship.
Published in Dawn, October 4th, 2019