Bismah Maroof steps down as Pakistan captain

Najam Sethi, the PCB chairman, made the announcement on Twitter on Tuesday night and said Maroof would continue to be available for selection as a player.

“It has been an honour for me to captain my country and I feel fortunate to have led an incredible and hardworking bunch of cricketers,” Maroof, 31, said in a statement released by PCB. “It has been one exciting ride, which has been full of highs and lows, but, at the end of the day, I will always be thankful to Almighty for providing me this opportunity.

“With the new ICC Women’s Championship cycle in its initial stages and the 2024 T20 World Cup more than a year away, I think this is the right time for me to step down and help so we have a smooth transition. I am looking forward to continuing to play as a player and playing my role for the team.”

Maroof captained Pakistan in 64 T20Is (27 wins) and 34 ODIs (16 wins) but they were able to win only one game in each of the last two Women’s T20 World Cups – in 2020 and 2023.

Maroof had taken over the T20I captaincy from Sana Mir in 2016 after the PCB chose to split the leadership, with Mir remaining the ODI captain. Mir was removed the following year, giving Maroof the captaincy in both T20Is and ODIs. In April 2021, Maroof went on maternity leave and took a break from cricket for more than a year, during which Javeria Khan led the side. She returned in May 2022 and took back the captaincy.

“I congratulate and thank Bismah Maroof for her services as the captain of the national women’s side,” Sethi said. “Bismah has been an inspiration for millions of girls and has been a catalyst for a positive change. With her immense dedication and hard work, she has shown that women can continue to follow their passions and dreams.

“She has always put her country before herself and that is underscored by how she has offered to help in smoothening the leadership transition ahead of an exciting and jam-packed season. I am sure her presence in the Pakistan dressing room will continue to be a source of inspiration to our young cricketers and she will continue to serve Pakistan with honour and pride as she has been doing since she was a teenager.”

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