ICC: Bismah puts on a show for baby Fatima

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Photo Credit: ICC

Bismah Maroof is Pakistan’s skipper on the pitch, and off it she is leading the way as one of a handful of mothers to have made a return to cricket after having a baby. 

She is also sometimes just mum to her six-month-old daughter Fatima who has joined Bismah in New Zealand for the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup and is stealing the show in the process. 

Fatima was on hand to congratulate her mum as Bismah made 78 not out in Pakistan’s seven-wicket loss to Australia at the Bay Oval in Tauranga. 

For Bismah, it marked her first half-century since having her daughter and broke plenty of records in its own right. 

It was the second-highest individual score for Pakistan at a World Cup and contributed to a 99-run stand for the fifth wicket alongside Aliya Riaz. 

That was just Pakistan’s fifth 50-run stand against Australia and it speaks to Bismah’s influence in the team that she has been part of all but one of them. 

However, facts and figures don’t exactly pull on the heartstrings, family moments do. 

And the world got to witness one as Bismah brought up her half-century from 96 balls. 

Having raised her bat to acknowledge the applause of the crowd and her teammates, Bismah took off her helmet, turned to the pavilion and cradled her arms as if rocking a baby. 

Then, the camera cut to the balcony as Fatima was held by her grandmother who waved one of the baby’s tiny hands back. 

It reflects a feeling lots of parents go through, that nothing else matters but your child and while Bismah has made a return to the day job, her success is all for her daughter. 

It was another poignant cricket moment on International Women’s Day after the ICC Women’s World T20 Final took place on 8 March 2020 with the MCG filled to the brim with women’s cricket lovers. 

Two years later and there was no Katy Perry or trophy lifts, but something much cuter, and perhaps even more remarkable: three generations of Pakistani women and girls celebrating a cricketing achievement with two other mothers standing on the field for Australia. 

Megan Schutt and Rachael Haynes are also new mums after their partners gave birth last year. 

Schutt’s daughter Riley and wife Jess have joined the Australian team on tour, and she has plenty of aunties to keep her entertained when they are not out playing. 

The fast bowler was among the wickets today as Australia restricted Pakistan to 190 for six.

Haynes moved to 164 runs for the tournament with 34 today before Bismah took the catch to dismiss her. 

And for all eight of the mothers in the World Cup – including the newest member of the mum club, Lizelle Lee of South Africa – their presence at this tournament is making a statement. 

Bismah is the first woman to benefit from the Pakistan Cricket Board’s maternity policy, with New Zealand’s Amy Satterthwaite doing the same in Aotearoa two years ago. 

As International Women’s Day comes to an end for 2022, these players are breaking the bias that motherhood and cricket don’t mix.

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