Pakistan women's team skipper Bismah Maroof isn't pleased by the International Cricket Council (ICC) verdict to evenly distribute the points of the ICC Women's ODI Championship unmaterialized series between Pakistan and India.
"The decision really was disappointing. Because we'd been waiting for a long time to play India and I'm sure our board was working on it. But I remember we weren't able to get a response. It was quite disappointing," Mahroof said.
Arch-rivals were set to face off in the sixth round of the ICC Women's ODI Championship 2017-2020 and these points were going to determine direct qualification for the World Cup 2021. Pakistan captain is dejected after being denied an opportunity to compete and earn the points fair and square.
Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) may take up the matter of splitting points with the ICC because the last time in a similar scenario when there was an impasse on the bilateral series in 2014-16, Pakistan were awarded all the points - which is not the case now.
With the series cancelled, India rests higher on the tree with 23 points while, to add to Bismah's woes, Pakistan are behind with 19. Pakistan will now have to toil in the World Cup Qualifiers, scheduled in July in Sri Lanka, to land a spot in the World Cup.
"The India-Pakistan matches are always quite hyped and the audience has missed the exciting cricket these contests provide. We've always shown a willingness to play against India and Pakistan has always kept politics away from the sport.
"It was disappointing that we did not get those matches because those are really competitive matches. If we would have played and then not made it, then it would have perhaps been easier for us to accept as cricketers and as a team," she said.
Bismah revealed how the PCB's legal experts are monitoring the entire situation and might take up the matter to ICC's dispute resolution committee in the near future. That said, with the Qualifiers in mind and the prospect of getting a lot more games in the tournament, she sees light at the end of the tunnel.
"Good luck to India; they've got these points without playing any competitive matches. Talking about our team, I'd like to put a positive spin on it as we will get more number of games (at World Cup Qualifiers). We don't normally get so many, so this will give us a chance to play more competitive cricket together as a team."
After the huge announcement of retirement by Pakistan's quintessential cricketer Sana Mir last week, there have been tributes and farewell messages coming from the members of cricket fraternity and Sana's teammates. The 28-year-old congratulated Sana for her glittering career and praised her for the services towards promoting women's cricket in Pakistan.
"Sana Mir is a definite legend of the game. She's a true ambassador of the game. One of the great minds, I'd say, we've all played under. A lot of us cricketers grew up under Sana's leadership, and she deserves the credit for it. She had a big hand in getting women's cricket the name and recognition it does in Pakistan today. She's without a doubt a big name in women's cricket."
Bismah would like a proper farewell for her protégé whose performances made everyone sit up and take notice but she understands that this may not be viable owing to the entire pandemic situation.
"I believe that she did deserve a farewell match but the present circumstances didn't allow the PCB to provide one."