18 Jul, 2016

Bismah Maroof, T20 captain of Pakistan's women cricket team, turned 25 today.

Here's 7 interesting facts about her career and journey so far:

1) Bismah's cricketing career is her father's dream come true

Unlike what certain adverts would have us believe, there are fathers out there who would want nothing more than to see their daughters whack a sixer. Bismah's father is one such dad.

"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. 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," she shared in an interview with Dawn.

She adds that family support plays a big part of her success: "It does not matter what financial background you belong to if you’ve got full support from your family to become a cricketer," she said in the same interview.

2) Her Islamiat teacher foretold her success

Not only did she have support at home, teachers in school also gave her skills on the field two thumbs up.

Maroof recalls a cricket-related memory still fresh in her mind, “We did not have a proper pitch at school, but we used to play cricket during recess. Once we got an opportunity to play with the hard ball. While fielding I took a blinder. My Islamiat teacher, who was looking at us from the class, called me to tell that I have a very bright future in cricket. I did not think much about it, but her words had an impact on me.”

3) She proved to be a star from her first innings

After joining the Under-21 Women's team, Bismah was benched in the first two fixtures. It was when she was given a go, that too in the last, she impressed with an 82.

“I was too young at the time and did not know how to react. I did not know how much I should be excited about the opportunity. Later, I received a lot of appreciation for the knock. That is when I realised that I achieved something.”

4) She won't let near misses get to her

Bismah missed her first century by a few runs, twice. But does she let that get to her? Nope.

She said, "I scored 99 runs against South Africa this year and was out for 92 against Bangladesh too. Both experiences were heart-breaking, but I am positive about future and will soon score a century."

5) She knows just what Pakistan women's cricket needs to flourish

Ask her how she thinks women's cricket can improve in Pakistan, and it's obvious that the passionate cricketer has it all figured out:

"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," begins Bismah.

"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," she adds crucially.

6) Afridi, who? She doesn't care what anyone thinks about women's cricket potential

“We have picked this career for ourselves and as professionals we should continue to play cricket. We do not care what anyone thinks,” says Maroof.

Enough said.

7) But she knows what's vital:

“We [women national team] support each other and that is enough for us.”


Ehsan Jul 18, 2016 06:13pm
Best wishes
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inam ali uk Jul 18, 2016 06:32pm
I'm sorry there is nothing to brag about the Pak women's team or their captain, their recent world cup and England horror trip was hopeless. I think they should not think they are like mens team but play like women, i remember one or two wins our women team thought they were world champions! need a reality check please. thanks for understanding.
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Zak Jul 18, 2016 06:36pm
...and we support you all.....good luck...your century is round the corner.
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badar Jul 18, 2016 06:56pm
pakistani women are not very physical /strong compared to european and afro nations. I think they should concentrate on getting physically tough !!!
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khan Jul 18, 2016 07:26pm
And no8- lost all the 3 odi's to England.. Good job
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سے Shaam Jul 18, 2016 07:34pm
Misbah-Mismah too cool, Pakistan Captains...
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Seth M Sarwar Jul 18, 2016 08:52pm
They have even chance to progress. The captain needs to put heart and soul to work and get up speed to make the women team to excel. Well done for the past and bravo to continue hard work.
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Muhammad Kamran Jul 18, 2016 09:11pm
Good going Bismah! Sports is a great profession and passion and more women should be encouraged to turn to sports. It's way better than Start plus anyway.
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Pak watcher Jul 18, 2016 09:13pm
Hey! Keep it up and best of luck going forward!
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Dua Fatima Jul 18, 2016 09:44pm
love u skipper
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Kalim ki Saira Durrani,TX Jul 19, 2016 02:52am
Wow misbah and mismah!
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Salman Jul 19, 2016 05:15am
Happy birthday young lady !! Keep up all the good work :)
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Omrna Jul 19, 2016 05:27am
good luck girl..way to g o Pak Women Cricket
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tariq mahmood Jul 19, 2016 06:42am
I am proud of you. May Allah bless you. Give my salaam to your dad
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sufyan Jul 19, 2016 09:12am
Father's dream ? contrary to recent advert of mobile phone company. These ads are so unreal.. isn't it?
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Raju Jul 19, 2016 09:23am
Good job !! proud of you
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ABC Jul 19, 2016 10:07am
Very few girls in subcontinent get to become icons in categories like sports, so use her example to encourage women for pursuing their careers against odds. That's the only way whole society can progress.Make people in society independent(not necessarily rich,but independent economically). Otherwise we know example of Saudi Arabia, people are rich, high rate of women enrollment in universities,but after completing studies they are made to sit at home and asked to be accompanied by males of family outside home.
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Imran Jul 19, 2016 10:11am
I wonder why shermeen obaid chinoy hasn't made a documentary addressing this oh wait it doesn't exploit Pakistan's image and perhaps may gain less attention. She had support from home and that is the answer to latest add campaign by a mobile company and from her school which included an Islamic studies teacher. Great Job Bismah and the writer of this article shedding some positiveness on the role of women and men supporting them.
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Dr. K B Huzen Jul 19, 2016 02:09pm
Go girl ..chess your dream
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Sajid Ibrahim Jul 19, 2016 02:17pm
@inam ali uk - Theres plenty to Brag about. The fact that we even have a team is a bonus. In a country like Pakistan where there is no structure/facilities and the fact that we still have a backward thought of women shouldn't be playing etc. Rather than criticise, you should be encouraging. So what if we lost to England. England has funds, and root level cricket. We have nothing. Well done PAK ladies. Congrats Bismah.
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parveez Jul 19, 2016 06:20pm
happy birthday. Need lot of encouragement , and hard work. Best of luck.
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Truth Jul 19, 2016 06:53pm
Best wishes for your dedication.
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Karimullah Jul 20, 2016 12:04pm
Winning or losing is the two sides of a coin. But a girl from primitive and fundamentalist society playing an international game is itself great. Let us support the girls who try to achieve their dreams despite odds.
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Rakesh Tiku Jul 20, 2016 04:01pm
Many Happy Returns of the Day Bismah! May God be with you and all your dreams come true.
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