From playing in India in 2006 to playing in South Africa in 2019, the beautiful sport that is cricket has taken me around the World to places I couldn’t imagine.
Cricket has allowed me to meet people I wouldn’t have otherwise, and given me opportunities I may otherwise not have received, and therefore I am always indebted to the sport for that.
I have played international cricket for the past 15 or so years, but how did I get here?
I was born in 1986 in Abbottabad, Pakistan.
Growing up in Pakistan, it is hard to escape cricket. Almost every channel on TV had some sort of cricket match being aired. And I fell in love with the sport.
I grew up watching the greats of Sports on television, including the likes of Waqar Younis, Jonty Rhodes, Pete Sampras, Steffi Graf and I always had a special admiration for the Captain Imran Khan.
But I always wondered, why are women not playing?
Cricket was always seen as a ‘mans’ sport, especially in OUR region.
But despite that, I was always confident that when I grow up there will be a women’s team. This faith is what kept me motivated, and helped me enjoy the street cricket I’d play every single day with my friends.
Seeing the cricketers on television, I used to emulate bowling actions and batting styles. I’d go out and play the sport and I eventually realised my dream. It was to become an international cricketer of Pakistan.
My first major cricketing opportunity came in September 2005, when I was 19. It was a game between the Pakistan greens and Pakistan whites. I impressed the coaches and selectors during my time there, and it was this which enabled me to make my international debut for Pakistan.
In December 2005, I was given my Pakistan ODI cap for the first time. The feeling of achieving something you’ve worked for your whole life cannot be described in words. I was ecstatic, but I knew that this was just the beginning, not the end.
From then on, I have been privileged to have represented my nation for 226 games.
The greatest honour however, came when I was chosen to lead Pakistan. I was given the ODI and T20 captaincy in 2009 and it was a moment I will cherish forever.
I was always inspired by the great poet Allama Muhammad Iqbal, and especially the infamous poem ‘lab pe aati hai dua.’
Every day in school assembly, we as children read this poem, and it gave me immense motivation. My leadership style was inspired by Allama Iqbal’s poetry.
From a young girl who watched her cricketing heroes on television, to becoming the captain of the Pakistan national team, and leading Pakistan in ICC events. It truly was a dream come true for me.
I am so far proud of what we have achieved as a team. I still feel I have a lot more to give to the cricketing World.
Cricket is my passion, and will always remain so.
So thank you for reading the above, and thank you for joining me on my journey.