When we talk about bowling legends, especially Pakistan’s bowling legends, many great names come to our minds. There is left-arm pacer Wasim Akram, who claimed more than 500 wickets in one-day internationals (ODI). Then, there is fast-bowler Shoaib Akhtar, who took 247 scalps in ODIs just with his pace. And among slow bowlers, there is the inventive Saqlain Mushtaq, who claimed 288 ODI wickets in his international career, and the versatile Abdul Qadir, who took 132 wickets in the 50-over format. But now there is a new name among Pakistan’s cricketing greats, and that is of women’s team ODI captain Sana Mir.
While women’s cricket hasn’t made much strides as compared to its men’s counterpart, Sana’s name has transcended all discrimination. In a recent World Cup qualifier match against Bangladesh, she achieved a milestone that only a few would have expected from a Pakistani female cricketer. She became the first Pakistani woman to claim 100 wickets in ODIs — a landmark that only 14 other women in the world have achieved.
Following the milestone, many congratulated Sana and among them was the International Cricket Council (ICC) which sent out a laudatory tweet acknowledging her feat. Nevertheless, the record itself has not been easy coming for the Pakistani legend. Despite starting off as a pace bowler in 2005, she switched to the role of an off-spinner due to consistent back problem. Still, nothing hindered her resolve as she changed her action and continued to get wickets for the country. A seasoned skipper, Sana has led the women’s national team in both ODI and T20I formats of the game, resigning from latter role only last year to provide with a chance to youngster Bismah Maroof. And during her 12-year playing career, she has maintained her name among ICC’s 20 top-ranked bowlers and has also clinched two gold medals for Pakistan in the 2010 and 2014 Asian Games.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 11th, 2017.
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