LAHORE: Sana Mir, a former skipper of the Pakistan women’s cricket team, said on Monday becoming the most successful spin bowler in the history of women’s one day international (ODI) cricket was a “huge moment” for her, but insisted she couldn’t have done it without her team.
On Sunday, off-spinner Mir took her 147th wicket during the third ODI of the ICC Women's Cricket Championship, setting a new record by dismissing Sune Luus from South Africa. The title of world’s most successful women’s ODI spinner was previously held by an old hero of Mir’s, Lisa Sthalekar of Australia, who Mir said had called to congratulate her on the new record.
“Sthalekar was an inspiration when I played my first world cup in 2009,” Mir told Arab News by telephone from South Africa. “This is a huge moment for me. I’ve always looked up to her.”
“I’ve been getting messages from cricketers all over the globe,” Mir said, saying Jhulan Goswami, the world’s leading wicket-taker from India, and South African cricketer Mignon du Preez, were among the international players who had reached out to congratulate her. “Everyone has been very kind.”
Mir, the daughter of an army officer, started out playing street cricket when she was five years old, learning from her elder brother and his friends. She made her ODI debut against Sri Lanka in late 2005, just days before her 20th birthday and returned wicket-less. In 2017, she became the first Pakistani woman to play in 100 one-day international matches. In October last year, she also became the first Pakistan bowler to top ICC rankings.
In August 2017, Mir resigned as the skipper of the national team after the conclusion of the ICC Women’s World Cup in England. She is currently playing in the ICC championship, a qualifying tournament for the 2021 World Cup.
“It’s a great feeling seeing Pakistan’s flag fly up,” Mir said. “We are breaking one barrier at a time. This must be God’s way of showing me he’s holding me up for my hard work and sincerity towards this sport.”
But in a manner that has become typical of Mir since her ascent in international sports, she insists that the win is all about the team.
“When you take wickets, it’s a team effort,” she said. “You can only take wickets when somebody takes your catches, when somebody puts pressure on the other team. Without that, you can’t create any records.”