Pakistan opener Nahida Khan draws curtains on 14-year international career

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Nahida Khan, the only female cricketer from Balochistan to have represented Pakistan, has called time on her 14-year international career.
Nahida, 36, made her Pakistan debut at the age of 23 in 2009 against Sri Lanka and went on to play 66 ODIs and 54 T20Is, scoring 1410 runs at 23.50 and 604 runs at 13.13 respectively. She was part of the last three 50-over World Cups (2013, 2017 and 2022) and has played four T20 World Cups from 2012 to 2018. Nahida holds the record for the most catches in an ODI innings, taking four in Pakistan’s win over Sri Lanka in Dambulla in 2018.
Her 79 against South Africa at the 2017 ODI World Cup was the highest individual score by a Pakistan batter in a 50-over World Cup before it was overhauled by Sidra Ameen in 2022.

“I am grateful for the unwavering support I received throughout my career. I want to thank my family, teammates, coaches, and the Pakistan Cricket Board for their guidance and belief in my abilities. I also want to thank the passionate fans who supported me throughout my journey, both in Pakistan and across the globe,” Nahida said.

Nahida last turned out for Pakistan at the 2022 ODI World Cup, having been recalled into the side after nearly a year. She played four games, scoring 9, 40, 43 and 0, with Pakistan only winning one match in seven.

Nahida has since then been involved in coaching. She was the assistant coach of PCB Blasters in the Pakistan Cup Women’s Cricket tournament and also worked alongside head coach Taufiq Umar in the winning Amazons side, in the Women’s League exhibition matches this year.

Nahida hails from a Pashtun family of the Achakzai tribe and grew up in an environment unconducive for women cricketers. “The biggest appreciation is obviously how she not only survived but thrived in an environment which wasn’t supportive in Quetta,” former fast bowler and commentator, Marina Iqbal told ESPNcricinfo. “She came as a middle-order bat but developed herself as an opener. Did perform in bits n pieces like others but had a great work ethic and sportsmanship and was a team player.

“A player who just wanted to enjoy her cricket any chance provided to her to be out in the field. She has always stood out as a hardworking player and I highly admire her because not only did she pave the way for herself but also for many girls in Quetta who have started to play cricket because of the strength and commitment Nahida showed. She will always be an inspiration for many out there dreaming to take up the game and play for Pakistan.”

Nahida has been dropped multiple times during her 14-year career but always got herself back into the reckoning through powerful domestic performances. She started her domestic career in 2004, representing Quetta Women in the national women’s cricket championship. She was also among the top players recruited by Zarai Taraqiati Bank Limited. In all, Nahida scored 3812 runs in List A cricket with three centuries, and also has 1854 T20 runs.

“Nahida Khan’s contribution to women’s cricket in Pakistan will be remembered,” Head of Women’s Cricket, Tania Mallick said. “Her dedication, skill, and constant determination have left an indelible mark on the game, inspiring generations of cricketers to follow their dreams and pursue greatness. As Nahida embarks on the next chapter of her life, the cricketing fraternity, fans, and well-wishers extend their warmest wishes.”

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