Bismah Maroof is in the Pakistan squad for the ICC Women’s World T20 after returning to action following a sinus surgery. But the vastly experienced 27-year-old will not take back the captaincy and Javeria Khan will continue to lead the side.
She is fit enough to slot back in the squad, though, and will hope to add to her 88 Twenty20 International appearances and 1641 runs in the format, scored at an average of 25.24 and strike rate of 88.94.
Maroof played the second and third T20Is against Australia in Kuala Lumpur recently, scoring 0 and 34 respectively, as top-ranked Australia swept the series 3-0. “We learnt a lot from the series and we definitely need to play more fearlessly,” said Maroof of the experience.
Placed seventh in the Women’s T20 rankings, Pakistan is grouped with Australia, India, Ireland and New Zealand, and is likely to have it tough. But the emergence of some youngsters, like Umaima Sohail, the 21-year-old batter who held her own against Australia, is giving Maroof hope. “Omaima Sohail was a big positive for us. The way she played in the matches with a fearless approach. It’s a big positive for us, and her, too. She will take a lot of confidence from it,” said Maroof.
“As for bowling, Aliya (Riaz) bowled well throughout the series. It’s good that the youngsters are taking responsibility. It’s just, we’ve done well in phases. We’ve built partnerships and done well on the field in phases. It’s important we do so for a longer run so that the end result will be in our favour,” explained Maroof.
Despite the low rank, Maroof is moderately confident about Pakistan’s chances at the tournament, to be played in the Caribbean from 9 November. “I think we have the best 15-member squad from Pakistan right now. There’s a lot of belief in the squad and we just need to work on our execution and fix our mistakes,” she said.
“It’s important we treat each match equally and not focus too much on any particular match. Otherwise, it just puts a lot of pressure on you. We will try to take it one game at a time,” Maroof added.