16-year-old batting sensation recalls journey to national team

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Karachi

Pakistan women’s latest batting sensation Ayesha Naseem recalled her journey to the national fold and said that a visit by former captain Sana Mir to her hometown changed the course of her career.
The 16-year-old, who was given her maiden call in the 15-member squad for the next month’s ICC Women T20 World Cup, admitted that she did not know the senior bowler let alone the existence of a national women’s team.
“I didn’t even know that there’s a proper women cricket team in Pakistan. I had no idea about that. Sana Mir came to Abbottabad to conduct trials for the U16 team and that was the first time I came to know about women’s cricket team,” she said in the interview.
Ayesha got the selectors’ attention, with her flamboyant batting, at the recently concluded National Women Triangular T20 tournament in Karachi.
Her ability to hit the ball over the fence comfortably impressed the selectors and coaching staff who then decided to pick her for World T20.
When asked about her eyebrow-raising abilities, the teen said that she grew up playing with boys in her neighbourhood.
“I used to play with boys in my hometown and that made me different. I used to face some good fast bowlers there which helped me improve my bat swing and that’s why I am so comfortable playing big shots,” she said.
Furthermore, Ayesha said that she was focused on making the best of her power-hitting abilities to score big numbers.
“I don’t have enough words to express how happy I was when I heard my name in the Pakistan team,” she said.—Agencies