Bismah Maroof wants to emulate Kohli

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KARACHI: Telling about the craziness of cricket in Pakistan, Bismah Maroof, the new captain of Pakistan Women team, has said that like every typical Pakistani household, the craze for cricket was always there in our family too. I was inspired by my father and brothers who loved the game and started by watching matches with them on TV.
“Occasionally, I would play with them too. But my father always wanted me to become a professional cricketer and so I decided to give it a shot and went for trials in Lahore. That’s where it all started”, she said in an interview with the Dawn.
Answering to a question, she said that it does not matter what financial background you belong to if you’ve got full support from your family to become a cricketer. You will be amazed to know that the current crop of women cricketers mostly belong to the lower middle-class families. They are here just because their families backed them all the way.
The return of women’s international cricket to Pakistan was marked by Sana Mir’s side comprehensively whitewashing Bangladesh in the T20 and ODI series held in Karachi.
Pakistan’s success was built upon several solid performances but its architect was 24-year-old Bismah Maroof, who won three consecutive player of the match awards through her all-round efforts.
In the two T20s and ODIs, the left-handed Bismah scored 109 runs and 133 runs, respectively, but also bowled some useful legbreaks to constrict the Bangladesh batting line.
At the end of the Bangladesh series, she spoke candidly about the state of women’s cricket in the country, idolising Michael Clarke and Virat Kohli and how the 2010 Asian Games gold medal provided a major boost to her side.
Talking about the development in cricket, she said that there has been a notable difference since my debut in 2006 till now. I think that the gold medal we won in the 2010 Asian games was the turning point for us and it made people believe in the potential of women’s cricket in the country. This success made people recognise us and more girls came started dreaming of playing cricket for their country confident about their future.
“In the current scenario, I don’t think that women’s cricket has got any attention. Before the Bangladesh series most people just knew our captain Sana Mir, but after the tour, other players, including myself, have gained attention of fans through good performances”, she added. Whether it’s the men’s team or the women’s side, both are representing Pakistan. Therefore, we deserve equal attention. The media too should play it’s part.
Talking about the upcoming tour of West Indies, Bismah Maroof said; “We will go to West Indies with full preparations as we just got to play competitive cricket against Bangladesh and attended a training camp before that. As far as my personal performances are concerned, I believe in accepting challenges and I will try to carry on my form in West Indies too”.
“I feel that we have not been up to the mark in world level competitions. I wish that our team improves enough to give tough competition to world class oppositions and after proving mettle in Asia we would love to shine at the world stage too. “We think that that a there should be a separate national academy for female cricketers and more grounds should be built around the country particularly for women which would help the cricketing culture grow amongst women. As of now we do feel left behind.
“To encourage women to engage in cricketing activity and keeping them motivated it’s necessary for the authorities to make the profession more lucrative. Women deserve increment in pay with time as much as male cricketers”, Bismah Maroof commented.