In the wake of women’s team dismal performance during the World Cup in England this year, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has put Bismah Maroof at the helm of the ODI team. She replaces Sana Mir, who had been leading the side for the past nine years since making her captaincy debut in May 2009 against Ireland.
Announcing the decision in a press release, the PCB said: “Mir has been replaced as captain of Pakistan women team in 50 over format but she will be eligible for selection as a player in both formats of the game.”
Pakistan failed to win a single match, out of their seven, during the World Cup. Upon his return to the country, then women’s team head coach Sabih Azhar submitted a scathing report to the board that held Mir responsible for the team’s dismal performances. The report, which was subsequently leaked to the media, brought the differences between the coaching staff and the captain to limelight.
Azhar described Mir as “self-centered, egotistical, and being wrapped up in oneself” during the World Cup campaign.
Retaliating to the report, Mir refused to work with the set up. Shedding light on the allegations levelled against her by Azhar, Mir wrote on Facebook that her “coordination with the coach suffered when I insisted on playing Diana Baig, who was in absolutely great form. That was our major disagreement. Diana is talented and was in great form in the WWC 2017.”
Recently, Mir refused to attend a camp ahead of the team’s series against New Zealand in the UAE. In an e-mail that she sent out to her teammates, Mir had said: “I won't be coming to the camp or travel with the team unless some crucial issues regarding women's cricket are addressed, which I have communicated to the top PCB management."
The 31-year-old has donned Pakistan colours in 102 ODIs and 75 T20Is.
The PCB release quoted PCB chairman say, “Sana Mir has great contributions towards Pakistan's Women cricket. She has played an instrumental role for women's cricket in Pakistan. She has led the team with great respect and had always used her best abilities to serve women's team.”
In an overhaul of the women’s cricket structure, The PCB sacked General Manager women wing Shamsha Hashmi and team manager Ayesha Ashar.
“These are well thought out decisions taken after a comprehensive internal review,” the statement quoted Sethi. “I am hopeful that we will transform women cricket into a well-knit unit both on field and at the management level.”
Hashmi had been at the post for the past two years. Till the board finds her replacement, Ashar will the in charge of the board’s women wing.
The board also disbanded the selection committee.