Nida Dar is one of the experienced players on whom the Pakistan Women’s cricket team would rely when they take on England in three-match ODI series — an assignment that could earn them direct qualification for the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup in New Zealand in 2021.
Nida made her international debut nine years ago and since then, she has become an integral part of Pakistan women’s team setup.
The bowling all-rounder has played 167 internationals and her ability to lift the team in crucial moments saw her become the first Pakistan cricketer to bag a WBBL contract this year, when she turned out for Sydney Thunder and left an impression with her off spin.
Amongst the bowlers with 10 or more wickets, Nida had the best strike-rate of 14.7 in the WBBL and her bowling average of 16.92 has been the second best.
Nida, who took 13 wickets in 11 matches, now aims to stretch her form to the upcoming ODI series, while also guiding the Pakistan team from her experiences Down Under.
“It has been a great experience to be part of WBBL and I have learnt a lot of things which I will share with our captain Bismah Maroof,” Nida told pcb.com.pk.
“The first and foremost thing is that we need to learn how to adjust to the changing conditions in the match.
“There isn’t much difference between the English and the Pakistani side in terms of skill-set. We are looking to work on the mental aspect of the game because in international cricket, one needs to be mentally tough to thrive. “On the day, whichever side plays the best will win.”
Pakistan are yet to register a win against England in ODIs. The two sides have come head-to-head eight times, the last being in 2017, and Nida has been involved in five of those matches. With the improved fitness, fielding standards and talented youngsters in the side, the 32-year-old is hopeful that things will be different this time around.
“There were a lot of issues in our fielding [when Pakistan last played England], but we have made drastic improvements in that aspect and fitness levels, which is evident from the last three to four series. England have not played against most of our girls, which is a positive as it will be difficult for them to prepare against us.”
Pakistan will enter this series in the absence of Sana Mir, which means there is more responsibility on Nida’s shoulders. However, Nida is eager to take up the challenge.
“Sana has been an integral part of the Pakistan team for a long time and, being a senior, she has helped everyone,” Nida said.
“Over the years some young spinners have come forward and I look forward to working with them.”—APP