KARACHI: Pakistan captain Bismah Maroof’s participation in this year’s Commonwealth Games and the Asian Games looks doubtful due to the organisers’ refusal to accommodate places for her infant daughter and an attendant, Dawn has learnt.

According to well-placed sources, the organisers of both events did offer two places but at the expense of as many support staff, a condition which is unacceptable for the team management.

Pakistan, who had a dismal run at the ICC Women’s World Cup earlier this year, will be defending their gold medal at the Asian Games, scheduled to be held in Hangzhou, China in September.

“Bismah’s participation at the Commonwealth Games and the Asian Games is doubtful due to the lack of a parental policy,” a Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) spokesperson confirmed, when contacted on Sunday.

The absence of Bismah, a veteran of 108 Twenty20 International outings, can hamper Pakistan’s shot at their third Asian title and that too at a time when trophies remain elusive for the team with women’s cricket still at a fledgling stage in the country.

The national women’s side won their first two medals at the 2010 and 2014 Games, while the 2018 edition didn’t feature cricket due to cost concerns.

According to sources, the PCB approached the CWG, the Olympic Council of Asia and the Pakistan Olympic Association and communicated to them the concern but did not get a satisfactory response from either bodies.

Moreover, Dawn understands that the International Cricket Council, which has a parental policy in place for its events for athletes who’re young mothers, also expressed its helplessness.

In line with the policy, Bismah was allowed to take her daughter to the World Cup in Australia while her mother also travelled with the squad in order to attend the baby.

Cricket will be played for the first time at the Commonwealth Games, set to take place in Birmingham, England from July 28 to Aug 8.

The final decision will be Bismah’s, but if she decides to pull out of the Games then it is feared the move will disturb the team management’s planning.

Published in Dawn,May 3rd, 2022

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