Bismah Maroof has stepped down as Pakistan women’s cricket team captain, ending a nearly six-year stint of leading the side.
Maroof’s last assignment as captain was the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup in South Africa where the team failed to make it to the semi-final, losing three of the four group games, including a thriller against arch-rivals India.
The 31-year-old had played a pivotal role in guiding Pakistan to a competitive 149 in the T20 World Cup, remaining unbeaten at 68 runs. But India overhauled the target with six balls to spare to win by seven wickets.
The veteran batter has played 124 WODIs and 132 WT20I so far, of which she led the team in 34 ODIs (16 wins) and 62 T20Is (27 wins).
Bismah will, however, remain available for selection as a player, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) said in a statement on Wednesday.
Bismah was named Pakistan’s all-format captain in September 2017 and has had the best win-loss ratio amongst all the regular players to lead the country.
Her replacement will be announced in due course, said the PCB.
“It has been an honour for me to captain my country and I feel fortunate to have led an incredible and hardworking bunch of cricketers. It has been one exciting ride, which has been full of highs and lows, but, at the end of the day, I will always be thankful to Almighty for providing me this opportunity.
“With the new ICC Women’s Championship cycle in its initial stages and the 2024 T20 World Cup more than a year away, I think this is the right time for me to step down and help so we have a smooth transition,” said Bismah.
“I am looking forward to continuing to play as a player and playing my role for the team.” PCB management committee chairman, Najam Sethi said, “Bismah has been an inspiration for millions of girls and has been a catalyst for a positive change. With her immense dedication and hard work, she has shown that women can continue to follow their passions and dreams.
“I am sure her presence in the Pakistan dressing room will continue to be a source of inspiration to our young cricketers and she will continue to serve Pakistan with honour and pride as she has been doing since she was a teenager.” PTI AM AM ATK ATK
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