The Women’s Cricket World Cup 2017 ended with England emerging as well-deserving champions. Pakistan was also part of this mega event but unfortunately, they were unable to win a single game despite several close encounters. After the dismal run in the world cup, fingers are being pointed towards Sana Mir, the Captain of the Pakistani cricket team. Rumours are floating that she will be axed from the captaincy as well as from the team. Ironically, she had highest batting average, that of 30 in the world cup and she bowled exceptionally well. However, she was unable to get support from an inexperienced team. She has led the team exceptionally well; a team which survived without a sponsorship until recently, which clearly shows the ignorance of PCB towards women cricket. Pakistan’s women cricket team has been playing for the last two decades, but until recently the team was never taken seriously.

Sana Mir was made captain in the year 2009 and she did not look back since – she has established this team into a good unit. She is a renowned symbol in the field and blaming the only player who performed the best is unjust and does not do any justice. Our team was one of the youngest and least experienced teams that qualified for the World Cup. The qualification itself is an achievement and there were instants of extraordinary performance by this young team. This young team played against teams who had been playing cricket for ages before our team was formed in the mid-90s. Even so, they almost beat South Africa, and restricted India to their lowest score of 169 runs in the tournament. To teams who were better matched, Pakistan lost by minimal margins – if we take a look at the scores to the West Indies Pakistan lost the match, by 19 runs (D/L method) and to Sri Lanka by merely 15 runs. Despite the fact that the team had minimum resources, a lot of effort was put forward and our team fought well and Sana Mir led the team remarkably. So it appears very unfair to blame the best player of the team and it reflects out the non-serious attitude of PCB. Rather than suggesting a sensible alternative and providing better facilities to the team, they want to dismiss the best shot of the team.

Sana Mir’s consistent performance and captaincy in an environment heavy on pressure and strain indicates the strength and mellowness of her character, which cannot be counted in figures but are obvious to anyone who has seen her play and heard her speak. She received high appreciation and praise from the tournament commentators, who said that of all the captains, they thought Sana led her side the best. The Pakistan Women captain has been a giant of the game – the team needs to find someone to stand on her shoulders for higher glory. This young lady came when we were struggling, because of the culture in Pakistan in those days. She’s a brilliant groundbreaker, not only on the field but off the field as well. She is one of only seven women in the 1000 runs and 100 wickets club. Apart from this, Mir is the first woman from Pakistan to reach the 100 ODIs landmark. That not only puts Mir’s accomplishments in view, but also emphasises how central she is and has been up-holding the flag of Pakistan in the air. Also, she has very positively represented the Pakistani women in cricket. The potential is there, as is the spark to Mir as a role model for girls all over Pakistan and even all over the world who have big dreams!

Our team was one of the youngest and least experienced teams that qualified for the World Cup.