LAHORE: Pakistan’s off-spinner Sana Mir became the most successful women’s ODI spinner in the world when she dismissed South Africa’s Sune Luus in the third One-Day International of the ICC Women’s Championship in Benoni, South Africa on Sunday.
In doing so, she claimed her 147th ODI wicket in her 118th appearance, which helped her leapfrog Anisa Mohammed of the Windies and Australia’s Lisa Sthalekar into third place on the all-time list of most successful bowlers, behind fast bowlers Jhulan Goswami of India (218) and Australia’s Cathryn Fitzpatrick (180).
Sana is presently the third ranked ICC bowler, but is expected to make an upward movement when the new rankings are released on Monday, 13 May, said the information made available here by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB).
In October last year, she became the first Pakistan bowler to top the ICC rankings.
Sana made her ODI debut, eight days shy of her 20th birthday against Sri Lanka at the National Stadium in the ACC Women’s Asia Cup match. She remained wicket-less, but scored 23 runs with the bat.
Recalling her early days, Sana said she had to overcome a number of challenges. “The journey started by proving at every street, where I played cricket, that girls could play this sport. We didn’t have any role models, girls taking part in cricket was not that common.
“My father was in Army, so, we had to move around a lot. This meant making new friends, but at the same time proving my cricket abilities to them again and again,” she said adding, “From street cricket to playing on the grounds and moving to stadia donning the Pakistan kit were moments of immense pride. From there, my goals started getting bigger and bigger as I started achieving results on the field.”
Sana said “The more your intention is to contribute for the team, the more success comes to you. This journey has taught me that keeping the team goal ahead of everything else brings satisfaction along with fame, recognition and success.”
Former captain and current chief selector Urooj Mumtaz, who captained Sana in 26 ODIs, congratulated her former colleague and called her a true inspiration for women cricketers not only in Pakistan but around the world.
“Sana has been a great role model for our cricket, in fact, world cricket, her hard work, dedication and humility is absolutely admirable,” she said adding “I captained Pakistan when we were just starting and it was a great help having her in my side. Sana was a calm and composed character, and these qualities have made her such a great performer.”
“I have really enjoyed captaining her as she had a great cricketing mind. Her achievements as a bowler don’t surprise me much since I have always felt she would go a long way considering the talent and the ability she had of applying herself under pressure,” said the former captain.
“I really want to wish her the best and hope that she continues to inspire youngsters and continues to bring laurels to the country,” said Urooj.
Sana captained Pakistan from 2009 to 2017 and also inspired her side to Asian Games Gold medals in 2010 and 2014. As captain, she took 83 wickets in 72 ODI matches besides scoring 1069 runs.
In 100 T20Is, Sana has dismissed 84 batters, including Ireland’s Laura Delany off a delivery that pitched outside the leg stump and hit top of the middle stump. The deliver was later voted as Play of ICC Women’s T20 World Cup 2018.
Sana has completed her Bachelors in Science. —APP