As South Asian countries deeply embrace cricketing culture in the form of gully cricket, it is not uncommon to see young girls and boys occupy narrow lanes with their balls and bats in hand, enjoying the leisure of childhood.
However, there was one amongst the crowd, a young five year old girl playing in the streets of Abottabad, Pakistan with her older brother, who succeeded in scripting an inspiring story for herself, such that she managed to lead the Pakistani team in the future.
Sana, admitting that cricket was forever in her blood, was faced with an early decision in life, when she stood at a threshold to choose between engineering and cricket. Even though she wasn’t selected then, she chose the latter owing to her passion, and it wouldn’t be wrong to agree that it was perhaps the best decision she ever made.
Being from a humble background, she faced financial hurdles as well as social ones, as cricket in Pakistan in the 1990s was not considered to be a woman’s sport. But with unconditional support from her parents, she received her national call up in 2005, and four years later, became captain of the Pakistani side. Becoming a thoroughly successful captain, the off spinner’s leadership led Pakistan to two Asian Games gold medals in 2010 and 2014, while also leading the side to their first ever tournament win in both T20s and ODIs against Sri Lanka in 2011.
The PCB Woman Cricketer of the year in 2013 also broke all records in October 2018, as she became the first Pakistani woman cricketer to rank no.1 in ICC ODI bowler rankings, and has maintained herself in the top 20 for the last nine years. A role model for future generations of women in Pakistan and all over the world, Sana Mir came from the alleys of Pakistan into the heat of international cricket, all with a stupendous amount of passion and hard work put into her game.
Smashing the gender stereotypes for women, the former Pakistani captain said, “Make no mistake, you need strong arms, not smooth arms on a sports field” ,and well, with the achievements accredited to her name, Sana Mir has managed to break barriers, shatter glass ceilings, and ensure that every little girl dreams of pushing their limits and making their future a celebrated one forever.