India win World Cup opener but Pakistan captain Bismah Maroof’s daughter wins everyone’s hearts


Pakistan skipper’s baby daughter Fatima won hearts of the Indian cricketers, who were seen playing with the little one after they won their World Cup opener.

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Shared News: March 7, 2022 6:52:05 am

Indian women cricketers with Pakistan skipper Bismah Maroof and her daughter. (Source: PCB)

India started their Women’s ODI World Cup campaign with a win on Sunday against Pakistan but the winners were bowled over by Bismah Maroof’s daughter after the match.

Pakistan skipper’s baby daughter Fatima won hearts of the Indian cricketers and ICC posted a selfie of the women in blue with Bismah and her little one, pushing the rivalry aside.

A video of the Indian cricketers playing with Fatima also went viral on social media as Bismah carried atima in her arms at the stadium in Mount Maunganui, New Zealand.

Before the match against India, Bizmah told Cricbuzz about the difficulty of balancing a new-born with career. “A child needs the mother. If I had to continue my career, the question would have been – where would my kid go? And if I’m on the field, who will take care of the kid? Hiring a nanny and taking her along everywhere is expensive, and as women cricketers, we don’t earn as much to afford such luxuries. Our contracts help us survive and make a living, but without a parental policy, it would’ve become difficult to continue playing with a child around.”

“With a kid around, it’s a different energy in the team, everyone feels relaxed. When you’re too focussed on one thing, it builds pressure on you. When you’re around a kid, all your unnecessary worries disappear.”

India overcame a top order wobble to beat Pakistan by 107 runs to maintain their perfect record against the neighbours in the women’s cricket World Cup on Sunday. India had prevailed in all 10 previous one-day matches between the two, but Bismah’s team threatened to pull off an upset when they reduced Mithali Raj’s side to 114-6 in the 34th over.

Opener Smriti Mandhana made 52 but it was counter-attacking knocks from lower-order batters Pooja Vastrakar (67) and Sneh Rana, who made unbeaten 53, that helped India to a decent total of 244-7.

Indian seamers kept it tight upfront and spinner Rajeshwari Gayakwad (4-31) wrecked the middle order as Pakistan were bundled out for 137 with seven overs remaining in their innings. India’s teenaged wicketkeeper Richa Ghosh effected five dismissals.

“Relieved to have won the first game but there are a lot of things we have to work on,” Mithali said of India’s patchy batting. “When you lose wickets like that, it puts pressure. The partnership between Pooja and Sneh got us back. It’s important the top order scores runs, we’ll want to address that.”

Counterpart Bismah said Pakistan could not capitalise on the strong start and let India off the hook. “We gave away easy runs to them, we were sloppy on the field, we didn’t put them under pressure,” she said. “Our batting has to improve, our shot selection wasn’t good, we’ll work on it ahead of the next game.”