Photo Credit: Pakistan Cricket Board
In the world of cricket, stories of determination often inspire fans and players alike. Maham Manzoor, a talented left-arm orthodox spinner hailing from Hyderabad Region, is an example of such resilience. Despite facing financial hardships, Maham’s solid dedication to her skill has led her to represent her region and dream of representing her country on the international stage.
Maham’s journey in cricket began when she first represented Hyderabad Region at the U19 level during the 2013-14 season. The left-arm spinner quickly caught the attention of selectors with her natural talent and ability to spin the ball. Despite facing numerous financial challenges, she continued to train and compete, determined to make her mark in this sport.
In 2014, Maham made her debut in List-A cricket, featuring in the Mohtarma Fatima Jinnah Women Cricket Championship Seniors. This opportunity allowed her to showcase her skills against seasoned players and gain valuable experience. Although her team’s performance may not have been the most successful, Maham’s individual contributions stood out, underlining her potential as a rising star.
Maham in conversation with PCB Digital talked about her journey till date. She said, “I started playing on the streets, my family was very supportive from the beginning, they motivated and encouraged me to take this game.
“I had no knowledge that there exists a game which was played with a hard ball, I used to play with boys with a taped ball.”
On how she came into this game, Maham said, “I was in school when I saw on the television screen that the women’s team was playing a cricket match and then I came to know that there exists a women’s cricket team.”
On who inspired her to take this game as a professional sport, Maham said, “Javeria Khan inspired me, when I saw her on the ground for the first time, it came to my knowledge that she is a senior player and watching her I got the feeling that I should play.”
Maham’s journey has been far from easy. She had to travel from Hyderabad to Karachi to pursue her dream as there were less facilities in the Hyderabad region. She said, “I had an issue of residency in Karachi, so I used to travel to Karachi in the morning and after playing the match, travel back the same night to my home on public transport.”
Coming from a financially constrained background, she bears the responsibility of supporting her family while pursuing her cricketing aspirations. Despite these challenges, Maham has never lost hope of representing her country in the near future.
Maham’s father, who passed away in 2018, dreamt of seeing her daughter representing Pakistan women’s cricket team. Maham said, “My father always pushed me to play this game, he encouraged me that good time will come, just have faith and wanted to see me in Pakistan colours once.”
Recently, Maham had the opportunity to represent Dynamites in the Pakistan Cup Women’s Cricket Tournament. In the T20 phase of the tournament, Maham performed exceptionally, ending up in the fourth spot among the bowlers with five wickets from two matches.
In the subsequent one-day phase, Maham claimed four wickets from four matches and helped her side clinch the one-day phase of the tournament, further solidifying her reputation as an exciting prospect in Pakistan women’s cricket.
Maham is not losing hope of representing Pakistan women’s team in the future. She said, “I have made a great struggle to reach this stage. I am grateful for whatever I am today and will not lose hope and continue to avail chances. I will also urge other girls to take this sport, and would request their parents to support them.”