“Indian players and batters have developed and gained confidence because of opportunities to play in the leagues, which is not the case with our players,” Maroof said after Pakistan’s eight-wicket defeat which has put them on the brink of elimination in the Commonwealth Games. “Once our players start getting more such opportunities they will develop well and get confident.”
While Smriti Mandhana, Harmanpreet Kaur, Jemimah Rodrigues, Shafali Verma, Poonam Yadav, Richa Ghosh, Radha Yadav and Deepti Sharma were part of the Women’s Big Bash League in 2021-22, Harmanpreet and Pooja Vastrakar are set to be a part of the forthcoming season. Mandhana, Harmanpreet, Rodrigues, Shafali and Deepti were also part of the inaugural season of the Hundred last year with Rodrigues set to continue with Northern Supercharges for the upcoming season.
On the other hand, in 2019-20, Nida Dar was the first – and till date, only – player from Pakistan to feature in the WBBL, while none of the players were involved in the Hundred. Maroof was part of the FairBreak Invitational Tournament earlier this year along with fellow Pakistan team-mates Aliya Riaz, Diana Baig, Fatima Sana and former captain Sana Mir, who has retired from international cricket.
“We are playing mix-and-match [style of cricket] because that’s the requirement of the team,” Maroof said about Pakistan’s approach that is less-reliant on power-hitting. “One has to play the anchor and stay in the middle but the power-hitters whom we rely on couldn’t execute things for us. That’s an area to work on.”
“It was important for me to have her around, as I couldn’t have left her back at home,” Maroof said as she was asked if Fatima is enjoying being in the CWG Village. “Credit to PCB for fighting out the case and am very thankful to the board for granting me the permission. Whenever Fatima meets players from other team, she (also) enjoys it very much.
“[It is] tough to manage. But I am keen to play and serving and leading Pakistan is an honour. I focus on getting time out for that and with my mother around, we share the task of taking care of her.”