March 20, 2009

Women's World Cup, 2009

A batting lesson from New Zealand

Urooj Mumtaz



We always knew that the World Cup was going to be a learning experience and if we needed a lesson in how to deliver one of the best batting performances of all time then we saw it on Thursday with Suzie Bates and Haidee Tiffen’s amazing 262-run partnership.

Suzie’s innings in particular was the best-ever innings I have ever seen, even if we did help her by bowling both sides of the wicket. The way she powerfully struck our bowlers all around the ground was quite incredible and a great lesson for us to observe.

The New Zealand and Pakistan teams have become very close during this event, ever since we played a warm-up game against each other, and they have been very helpful at passing on tips to us about how to make it at the top level.

They perhaps weren’t as kind to me when they hit 20 runs off my only over, but you certainly learn a lot more quickly when you are playing against the top players, rather than just watching footage on television or following the scores on the internet.

We need to learn from the way New Zealand works the ball around for singles during its batting, as well as improving our counter-attack play, especially ahead of the World Twenty20 in June, as sometimes we get too bogged down when we are batting. That comes with match experience, as well as more time in the gym, and we are all dedicated to improving our games.

Haidee Tiffen, at the post-match presentation, said some really nice things about our team and we are really proud that we have made such a big impression on one of the leading teams at the event. I know that Nain Abidi was very happy that Haidee took the time to come up to her and congratulate her on her fifty, which is a great effort against a quality bowling attack like New Zealand.

It would be great to finish off our memorable campaign with a win against the West Indies, who I think we played our best game against during this tournament.

To come from tenth in the world rankings in early 2008 to fifth in the world in 2009 would be an incredible achievement and a real inspiration to girls in Pakistan to take up the sport.

I don’t want to lose my place in the team just yet, but it would be fantastic to think that we can inspire a new generation of girls to play the game, in the same way that the victory of the Pakistan’s men’s team at the World Cup in 1992 inspired me to play the sport for the first time.

The New Zealand team has said it will be supporting us against West Indies, while we will definitely be cheering them against England in the final. I just can’t wait for the weekend matches to begin!

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Posted by mariam on (March 24, 2009, 17:15 GMT)

Well Done Pak! from qualifying for the worldcup to winning two matches and entering the super sixes round, you girls have been awesome and we are all proud of you! Urooj, you and your girl's have paved way for female cric back home...i guess this is the int'l exposure we were all awaiting! GO Pak Go!

Posted by kiwifan on (March 24, 2009, 10:01 GMT)

As a Kiwi who saw four of the Pakistan games, I was really impressed by the way the team developed during the tournament. You have a potentially world-class left-arm seamer in Almas Akram - what a pity she got injured before the game against New Zealand. Your fielding was generally outstanding, and was close to the best overall in the tournament. You've come a long way since 1997 - get the batting sorted out and you'll be in the top four no later than 2017.

Posted by Asghar Khan on (March 23, 2009, 16:13 GMT)

Super effort ladies. Your team is another example of the fact that our women can compete the best in the world and came out with respect. I am so happy about the succes of Pakistani women cricket team. Just one thing that now we will be expecting even better things from your gang in future. I am sure we will be champs soon.

Posted by Rashid Siddiqui on (March 23, 2009, 15:35 GMT)

I think Pak Women team did very well against all the odds. I hope after seeing such a good performance more and more girls start participating in sporting activities in Pakistan. Congratulations for a job well done!

Posted by Sefal Khan on (March 23, 2009, 1:33 GMT)

Hello Captain - you and your team have done a great job. We enjoyed every match your team played in Sydney. You will get better and better in time. I hope you enjoyed Sydney and got to see the SCG. Have a nice trip back home - salute our Pakistan for me. Have a great future.

Posted by saff on (March 20, 2009, 21:49 GMT)

You guys have done a tremendous job.....in stark contrast to your male counterparts.....who exited the world cup in the first rounds of both the 03 and 07 editions....getting into the super sixes is an incredible achievement, i just wish that our men's cricket team start taking things seriously as well and for once justifies the amount of time n money spent on them....we have decorated them as "prima donna's"....but the results have been frugal! hopefully under younis khan our team can flourish and retrieve some of the lost glory.

Posted by Hafsa A on (March 20, 2009, 18:29 GMT)

I hope your team can repeat the excellent performance against the West Indies. We're very proud of you. You're the only good news with the word Pakistan in it, these days so keep us the good work and make us prouder :)

Posted by Najeeb on (March 20, 2009, 17:22 GMT)

Considering that women's cricket is in its infancy in Pakistan, and the lack of support for you guys..... I think it was a commendable performance and I think you can only improve form here on.....best of luck

Posted by AG on (March 20, 2009, 15:22 GMT)

Well done. hope your participation brings some normalcy to pakistan and inspires more girls to take up cricket

Posted by Mohammed Anwar on (March 20, 2009, 13:59 GMT)

Hi Urooj Baji,this is Anwar from India..A brother from across the border.I have been following your team's progress since your first World Cup match and I am forced to say that''You girls have won this World Cup already''.Trust me,qualifying for the first time and winning two games is an achievement in itself.I am from India,but I am proud of your teams determination and commitment.Your team has exceeded all expectations and I am sure this is the benchmark for future achievements.If I had been PCB Chairman,I would have tried my best to set up a separate new stadium exclusively for the Women's team with all training facilities and a Coach.Without the facilities that are available to other teams,you girls have won hearts merely by determination.Please focus on developing this team and Inshallah Urooj Mumtaz will be remembered always.Please convey my regards to every player of the team and tell that an Indian across the border prays for you and salutes you.You girls deserve a celebration

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