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Women's Cricket

Women's World Cup: Smriti Mandhana's message for Pakistan captain Bismah Maroof wins the internet

Smriti Mandhana who was seen playing with Pakistan captain Bismah Maroof's toddler at the World Cup hailed Maroof as 'inspiring' for her comeback to cricket as a mother.

Indian womens cricket team players pose with Pakistan captain Bismah Maroofs daughter Fatima after the World Cup match

Indian women's cricket team players pose with Pakistan captain Bismah Maroof's daughter Fatima after the World Cup match 


The Bridge Desk

Updated: 7 March 2022 11:47 AM GMT

Moments after India got a very convincing victory over Pakistan in their first match at the Women's World Cup 2022 on Sunday at Bay Oval, the Indian players could be seen fawning over the Pakistani captain, Bismah Maroof's seven-month daughter, Fatima.

Practically everyone was taken up by the cuteness overload that baby Fatima brought to the show as her mother, Bismah was busy attending the post-match conference and Fatima was kept entertained in the company of the Indian players.

India's star batter, Smriti Mandhana was also one of the players smitten by Fatima and mostly in awe of how Bismah has managed to make a comeback to international cricket so soon after pregnancy, in just six months' time.

Taking to her Instagram, Smriti Mandhana posted a story on her handle, hailing Bismah for this incredible return, calling her 'inspiring' and someone who is 'setting an example for sportswomen (sic) across the globe'.

Maroof is considered to be one of Pakistan's most decorated batters. She has scored 2617 ODI runs, whereas she also has 2225 T20I runs to her name. Maroof has been appreciated a lot for making a comeback so early from her pregnancy and is still one of the key members of the Pakistan squad, serving as the Captain as she does.

Not just Bismah, tennis stars like Sania Mirza, Serena Williams, Kim Clijsters have also shown that pregnancy, motherhood cannot be a deterring factor in the path of professional success, even if it's in sports.

READ | Sania to Serena: How sexist we are towards women athletes on the internet

However, Smriti didn't just fan over Bismah's return in true Women's Day spirit but also showered her love for baby Fatima who she hoped would also pick up the willow like her mother.

"Lots of love to baby Fatima from India and I hope she picks the bat just like you bcoz lefties are special," Smriti added.

The Indian Women's cricket team started their World Cup campaign on a stellar note. They defeated Pakistan by 107 runs in their first game. This is India's 11th consecutive win over Pakistan in the WODIs.

Sneh Rana and Pooja Vastrakar combined for a record 122-run partnership for the seventh wicket. Vastrakar scored 67 runs in 59 balls, whereas Rana scored 53 runs in 48 balls. Courtesy of their partnership, Team India finished at 244-7 after 50 overs.

On the other hand, the Pakistan side could not complete the run chase and was bowled out in 43 overs with just 137 on the board, thanks to some top-class bowling from Rajeshwari Gaikwad who took four wickets while veteran Jhulan Goswami and Sneh Rana got a couple each to secure the first victory in the first match at the Women's World Cup 2022.

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