Upheaval expected in women’s cricket

Published: July 19, 2017
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Down and out: Sana may be stripped of the captaincy that she has had for the past nine years. PHOTO COURTESY: ICC

Down and out: Sana may be stripped of the captaincy that she has had for the past nine years. PHOTO COURTESY: ICC

KARACHI  : Pakistan’s performance in the Women’s World Cup — where they lost all seven matches and finished as the tournament’s worst side — brutally exposed the flaws in the side and the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has been forced into drastic action.

The board is in the process of reviewing the domestic structure of women’s cricket as well as the budget allocated to the women’s wing, while the team’s management may also see upheaval.

Skipper Sana Mir may have not been the worst performer on show, impressing sporadically with both bat and ball as she claimed six wickets and scored 153 runs, but her captaincy did leave a lot to be desired and she may find herself losing the armband. Her position in the side will also come under extreme pressure due to this.

What has made matters worse is that the team seems to be divided, with the batsmen blaming the bowlers and the bowlers blaming the batsmen and nobody willing to take responsibility for the dismal performance.

No blame on women’s team

“The PCB is reviewing the team’s performance and since they lost all matches at the World Cup, Sana may well find herself removed from the captain’s role,” a source close to the matter told The Express Tribune. “The coach, Sabih Azhar, may also be sacked.”

The source admitted that changing the captain and the coach just scratches the surface and more needs to be done if the performance of female cricketers in the country is to be improved. “Many have pointed to the poor condition of the domestic structure of the women’s wing and changes are expected in that too. A new budget is being revised accordingly.”

Meanwhile, the general manager of the women wing, Shamsa Hashmi, also said that a review is underway to examine the failures. “Right now, all matters are being carried on as before but soon changes will be announced by the board as the performance of the team was not satisfactory,” she said. “The team should at least have won the matches against Sri Lanka and West Indies.”

Abidi rescues Pakistan Women

Sana has been leading the team for nine years, with team manager Ayesha Ashar also around for a similar amount of time, but the team has seen several coaches during this time.

Bismah Maroof, who is leading the T20I team, is expected to be the new captain. Bismah — the second-most experienced player in the team after Sana — was ruled out of the Women’s World Cup after two matches following a hand injury and therefore her reputation has not been as tarnished as that of other players.

Earlier, PCB Chairman Shaharyar Khan hinted that the players are unhappy with the new coach.

Pakistan brushed aside by England

“The board is reviewing all the departments of the women wing. Once Sana and Azhar submit their reports for the debacle in England, the board will making changes accordingly,” added the source, hinting that the new coach will be selected from the National Cricket Academy’s coaching panel.

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