Fatima Sana’s sheds light on her inspirational cricket journey

It’s Sana’s biggest dream that Pakistan will play in a final and win a World Cup

By Web Desk
May 25, 2024
Fatima Sana celebrates after taking a wicket. - AFP 

Fatima Sana is a prominent name in Pakistan women's cricket ever since making her T20I and ODI debut against South Africa in 2019. 

Fatima started playing cricket at the age of 13 after her brother, Shehroze, encouraged her to take up the sport. She was able to survive in a country, where women are not allowed to pursue their career in sports because of cultural and religious traditions.

“My brother realised that I was a good cricketer,” said Sana while speaking to Telegraph Sport during a break in Pakistan’s current tour of England. “He told me every time, turn your arm and do some bowling. So I did and after two or three months, he chose me for a cricket academy with the boys. So after a lot of street games I started my cricket journey in the academy with boys and they were all bigger and taller than me because they were proper club members.”

In the interview, she added that the changing dynamics of the country encourages her to improve her style of playing. Fatima is aware that if her team wins, it would positively impact her cricket loving-homeland.

“When I started there was not women’s cricket as much as [there is] now. But after some time, when our women won against India in the Asia Cup or anything like that in big events, it was almost like PCB [Pakistan Cricket Board] supported us a lot more. And now we have an under-19s team and the emerging team and the Pakistan A team. So now PCB has produced a lot of cricket in Pakistan. We all know that our society is male dominated, so that’s the biggest problem," Sana said. 

“Some of the boys were supportive. Some of the boys were not because of the cultural issues. When I joined the club and academy, my brother’s friends were there, so they supported me a lot,” she added.

In 2016, Sana signed up for the night competition, launched in the holy moth of Ramadan. For years, street matches have only been dominated by men but she broke the stereotype that only men are allowed to play night matches.

“At that time, it was a tape ball tournament and so I wasn’t interested, but my friend told me that it was interesting. I realised because it was cricket, I should play. It doesn’t matter that it is a tape ball or a hardball, so I played. And I got best bowler, player of the tournament, best fielder of the tournament, best batter of the tournament.

“It hurts when everyone can’t understand that women can play. But a lot of men are now understanding. We need those types of tournaments everywhere in Pakistan so everyone can play. And that type of pressure helped us to grow and after that tournament everyone knows that we have women’s teams,” she added.

Sana also dreams about winning the World Cup for Pakistan. 

“It’s my biggest dream that Pakistan will play in a final and win a World Cup. And I want to be myself the number one all-rounder. That would be the biggest achievement,” she concluded.