Sana Mir becomes world’s most successful women’s ODI spinner

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BENONI: Pakistan’s off-spinner Sana Mir became the most successful women’s ODI spinner in the world when she dismissed South Africa’s Sune Luus in the third One-Day International of the ICC Women’s Championship which ended in a thrilling tie at the Willowmoore Park on Sunday.

It was Sana’s 147th ODI wicket in her 118th appearance, helping her leapfrog Anisa Mohammed of the Windies and Australia’s Lisa Sthalekar into third place on the all-time list of most successful bowlers, behind fast bowlers Jhulan Goswami of India (218) and Australia’s Cathryn Fitzpatrick (180).

Sana, meanwhile, is third in the ICC bowlers’ rankings but is expected to make an upward movement when the new rankings are released on Monday. In October last year, she became the first Pakistan bowler to top the ICC rankings.

Mir, the daughter of an army officer, started out playing street cricket when she was five years old, learning from her elder brother and his friends. She made her ODI debut against Sri Lanka in late 2005, just days before her 20th birthday and returned wicket-less. In 2017, she became the first Pakistani woman to play in 100 one-day international matches. In October last year, she also became the first Pakistan bowler to top ICC rankings.

In August 2017, Mir resigned as the skipper of the national team after the conclusion of the ICC Women’s World Cup in England. She is currently playing in the ICC championship, a qualifying tournament for the 2021 World Cup.

“It’s a great feeling seeing Pakistan’s flag fly up,” Mir said. “We are breaking one barrier at a time. This must be God’s way of showing me he’s holding me up for my hard work and sincerity towards this sport.”

But in a manner that has become typical of Mir since her ascent in international sports, she insists that the win is all about the team.

Sana Mir became the most successful ODI spinner in the world after dismissing Sune Luus of South Africa in the third match of the ICC Women’s Championship. Recalling her early days, Sana said, “The journey started by proving at every street, where I played cricket, that girls could play this sport. We didn’t have any role models, girls taking part in cricket was not that common. My father was in the Army, so, we had to move around a lot. This meant making new friends, but at the same time proving my cricket abilities to them again and again.”

“From street cricket to playing on the grounds and moving to stadium donning the Pakistan kit were moments of immense pride. From there, my goals started getting bigger and bigger as I started achieving results on the field. The more your intention is to contribute to the team, the more success comes to you. This journey has taught me that keeping the team goal ahead of everything else brings satisfaction along with fame, recognition, and success,” she added.

The 33-year-old claimed her 147th ODI wicket in her 118th appearance, which has helped her leapfrog Anisa Mohammed of West Indies and Australia’s Lisa Sthalekar to achieve a third place on the all-time list of most successful bowlers, behind fast bowlers Jhulan Goswami of India (218) and Australia’s Cathryn Fitzpatrick (180).

Sana, who made her debut in 2005, is presently the third-ranked bowler. She had become the first Pakistan bowler to top the ICC rankings in October last year.
Former Pakistan captain and current chief selector Urooj Mumtaz, who captained Sana in 26 ODIs, congratulated and called her a true inspiration for women cricketers not only in Pakistan but around the world.

“Sana has been a great role model for our cricket, in fact, world cricket, her hard work, dedication, and humility is absolutely admirable. I captained Pakistan when we were just starting and it was a great help having her in my side. Sana was a calm and composed character, and these qualities have made her such a great performer,” Urooj said.

“I have really enjoyed captaining her as she had a great cricketing mind. Her achievements as a bowler don’t surprise me much since I have always felt she would go a long way considering the talent and the ability she had of applying herself under pressure. I really want to wish her the best and hope that she continues to inspire youngsters and continues to bring laurels to the country,” chief selector added.

Sana, who completed her Bachelors in Science, captained Pakistan from 2009 to 2017. She inspired her side to Asian Games Gold medals in 2010 and 2014 and as captain, she took 83 wickets in 72 ODI matches besides scoring 1069 runs.

In 100 T20Is, Sana has dismissed 84 batswomen, including Ireland’s Laura Delany off a delivery that pitched outside the leg stump and hit the top of the middle stump. The delivery was later voted as Play of ICC Women’s T20 World Cup 2018. (ANI)