LAHORE: Pakistan women’s captain Sana Mir has responded to criticism from Sabih Azhar, the team’s coach, saying she had “fought” to play a young bowler contrary to the allegations against her. She also said she did not “intend to continue” under the current circumstances. In a report, Azhar had described Mir as “self-centered, egotistical and being wrapped up in oneself” during the course of the team’s winless campaign in the 2017 Women’s World Cup in England. He had said newcomers were discouraged in the team’s set-up, and that 25-year-old Kainat Imtiaz was dropped from the playing XI against West Indies without his knowledge. Among the matters which Mir and Azhar didn’t agree upon was the selection of 21-year-old Diana Baig, the fast bowler who picked up seven wickets in five matches. Mir wrote on Facebook of this: “My coordination with the coach suffered when I insisted on playing Diana Baig, who was in absolutely great form. That was our major disagreement. Diana is talented and was in great form in the WWC 2017.
“My fight was to play a youngster in the team who is ready for international cricket. I don’t regret it. Moreover, we suffered defeats in this World Cup as spinners with the new ball penetrated our top order consistently in each game, specially left-arm spinners. We are also still short of players who can perform under pressure.”
Much of the focus of the report fell on the leadership of Mir. In turn Mir, who relinquished her T20 captaincy last year, said she did not want to carry on in this set-up. “I would have preferred not to have had this conversation through the media but since a confidential report by the coach, and comments by GM Women Wing and Chairman PCB have been making headlines, I feel obliged to give a short response to clarify some issues from my point of view. “I want to make it clear I don’t intend to continue in the future with the current set-up of the Women’s Wing in any capacity. I would still be sharing a detailed report with all of you to improve women’s cricket once I get back by the end of August.”
Mir had previously hinted on various occasions that she would step aside after the 2017 World Cup. Having made her international debut in 2005, Mir was appointed captain in 2009 and has led Pakistan to 26 wins each in 76 ODIs and 65 T20Is. Agencies