Millions will tune in to watch Pak-India tie in Women’s Cricket World Cup: Bismah

Pakistan women’s cricket skipper Bismah Maroof feels her team has some extraordinary talent and the determination to make history in the ICC Women’s World Cup, scheduled to be played across six venues here from March 4.

The 30-year-old all-rounder, who has played 108 WODIs and an equal number of WT20Is, said that this is a great opportunity for her team to “leave a mark and break the glass ceiling”.

“The Women’s World Cup is a platform where stars are born, and it is the ultimate stage where cricketers of the day can leave ever-lasting legacies. For Pakistan, the Women’s World Cup is an opportunity to leave a mark and break the glass ceiling,” said Maroof in her column for the ICC on Friday.

Maroof, who has scored more than 2,600 runs in WODIs and another 2,200-plus runs in WT20Is, said that her team had arrived in New Zealand well prepared for the challenges and eyes firmly set on a semifinal spot.

“We have never made it to the knockouts of any World Cup across the two formats, but that does not mean that that time will never come. With the experience of Javeria Khan, Nida Dar, Diana Baig and Anam Amin; the extraordinary talent of Fatima Sana and Ghulam Fatima; and the grit of Aliya Riaz and Omaima Sohail, this team has all the ingredients to make history in this beautiful country.

“We have put together a strong squad, which not only covers all bases but also provides the right balance required for a tournament as lengthy and demanding as this World Cup will be. We have a perfect mix of talent and experience in both departments, and a team eager to push the limits and make its fans and supporters proud,” she said.

Maroof added that through hard work and determination, the Pakistan women’s cricket team had established itself as a force to reckon with in the ICC Women’s Championship 2017/20 cycle.

“We achieved many firsts, thanks to the unrelenting passion of the girls. It was no mean achievement for a side which had finished seventh or second-last in the inaugural edition of the ICC Women’s Championship just two years ago and failed to win a match in the following World Cup to break into the top-four of the table, before finishing fifth due to a series cancellation. And that momentum translated in our victory against the West Indies in our ICC Women’s T20 World Cup 2020 opener,” she said.

She added that the team’s opening game against India promises to be a great occasion for women’s cricket in the subcontinent.

“It will surely be an exciting contest. Pakistan versus India is a rivalry that attracts record eyeballs across the globe. In our part of the world, it becomes the talk of the town when the two neighbours face off. I am sure millions of girls will tune in to watch this game and will leave inspired to take up the game. COVID has had an impact on women’s game around the world, but this tournament promises a new beginning and comes with a ray of hope of us getting back to normal life,” added Maroof.

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