- “It is great to make a strong comeback to the national side after a long absence, I want to grab the opportunity and perform for Pakistan at the international level,” says first ODI player of the match Ghulam Fatima
Karachi, 2 June 2022: Leg-spinner Ghulam Fatima continues to make her presence felt after making a return to Pakistan women’s ODI squad after a five-year absence. The Sialkot-born produced her career-best to spearhead Pakistan’s crushing eight-wicket win over Sri Lanka in the opening match of the three-match ICC Women’s Championship series at the Southend Club, Karachi on Wednesday.
The 26-year-old was brought back into the national fold for this year’s ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup 2022 that was staged in New Zealand, she had last played for Pakistan against Sri Lanka in 2017 at Colombo.
Fatima earned her recall on the basis of an outstanding performance in the Pakistan Cup Women’s One-Day 2021-22 held in Karachi. Representing PCB Dynamites, Fatima took 10 wickets in seven matches at 22.10 at a miserly economy rate of 3.39.
During the World Cup, Fatima featured in two matches, taking three wickets for 52 in nine overs against South Africa and returning wicket-less in the match against Bangladesh.
On Wednesday, Fatima produced quality leg-spin and impressed all with her control, flight and variations which bamboozled the Sri Lankan batters.
Fatima finished her 10 overs conceding a mere 21 runs while accounting for four batters including two in consecutive balls as Sri Lanka crashed from 96 for three to 96 for six in the 31st over of their innings.
Speaking to media in the post-match press conference, Fatima revealed that she had idolised Australian legend Shane Warne who passed away recently. Fatima also vowed to make the most of the opportunity of donning the green Pakistan kit after a long gap.
Ghulam Fatima: “It is a memorable day for me and I am delighted to contribute to Pakistan’s success and to win the player of the match award. I have worked really hard to regain my place in the national side and I had to wait for a long time which has made me resilient and very eager to do well.
“I really enjoyed my spell today and took special delight in the four wickets I took. The bowled wicket [Oshadi Ranasinghe] was my favourite. I am focussed on making a long term contribution to Pakistan and for that I will continue to work hard and improve all aspects of my bowling.
“Shane Warne was my favourite leg-spin bowler and I always idolised him, it is unfortunate that I would not be able to meet him now.”
Fatima, meanwhile has provided Pakistan another quality leg-spin option after a hugely impressive debut by Tuba Hassan in the T20Is that preceded the ODI series.
Tuba who took the player of the match award in her debut ended-up with the player of the series trophy with five wickets in the three matches.
The pair of Fatima and Tuba can serve Pakistan with distinction in both formats as quality leg-spin options provide incredible balance and match winning bowling options to their captains in both white-ball formats.