While the men’s cricket team couldn’t really achieve much in 2023, it was left to the women sporting the green shirts to bring glory to Pakistan, earned through hard work and dedication. There were of course lows — their whooping by the host Aussies at the start of the year, and then at Bangladesh — but there were pleasant surprises as well.

Muneeba Ali was the headline-grabber when she became the first woman to score a T20I hundred for Pakistan and only the sixth ever in a T20 World Cup, laying the foundation for Pakistan’s victory versus Ireland. Meanwhile, Nida Dar become the highest wicket taker in T20I. She is currently joint first with M. Schutt of Australia with 130 wickets to each players’ name.

In a sign of progress that the game has made, the PCB awarded domestic contracts to 74 female cricketers. The contracts will run for 11 months, and include 43 players classified as emerging cricketers, in addition to 16 under-19 cricketers.

Then came South Africa to Pakistan, where the hosts sealed their first ever series clean sweep against the visitors. It included their highest run chase.

Pakistan lost out on the Asian Games medal. There was another loss in Bangladesh. But what came after couldn’t have been scripted better. Pakistan beat hosts New Zealand in the T20 series. The 10-run win brought up Pakistan’s first T20I series win away from home since October 2018, and their first T20I series victory outside Asia and Ireland. Later they denied the hosts a washout in the ODIs. Lookout world, the women in green mean business!

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