“Staying away from cricket was the most difficult part after marriage,” says Pakistan Women batter.
Pakistan Women’s Nain Abidi gave her hopes of a comeback to the national side a boost after a match-winning performance in a domestic Twenty20 competition.
After the ICC Women’s World Cup 2017, Abidi, the Pakistan top-order batter, took a break from cricket. She was married in January that year, and moved to the USA to build a new life.
She missed Pakistan’s ICC Women’s Championship matches against New Zealand and Sri Lanka, including their historic first one-day international win against the White Ferns in the UAE and their sweep of the islanders in the ODIs.
Departmental WT20 Championship 2018 Final - ZTBL vs PCB XI at NSK. ZTBL won by 46 runs. Nain Abidi got the Player of the Final award for her match winning 85 not out.#ZTBLvPCBXI pic.twitter.com/SrklE72x6a— PCB Official (@TheRealPCB) May 10, 2018
However, determined to fight her way back into the team and add to her 152 international caps, Abidi returned to Pakistan to play the domestic Departmental T20 Women's Cricket Championship 2018.
Turning out for Zarai Tarakiati Bank Limited Women, she starred with two fifties in the competition. Her 65-ball 85* in the final and her second-wicket partnership of 124 with Bismah Maroof, the national team captain, set up their side’s 46-run win against Pakistan Cricket Board Women XI.
“Staying away from cricket is always difficult. I have played professional cricket for 11 years, so going and staying away from cricket was the most difficult part after marriage,” she said in an interview to The Express Tribune.
Alhamdollilah! T20 Champions domestic 2018 pic.twitter.com/sHepR39WSa— Sana Mir (@mir_sana05) May 10, 2018
“I moved to a country where cricket is not popular and the weather conditions aren’t favourable either. So I was totally out of cricket for eight months. I didn’t even hold a bat in the field to practise for the game. I just enjoyed the weather and focussed on my fitness.”
Abidi, 32, said that although she couldn’t train as much as she had wanted, she had ensured she maintained a diet and fitness routine.
“I knew that whenever I plan to go back to Pakistan and play for my country I will have to be super fit for the game,” she said. “I have been working on my fitness since the day I left. Not a single day have I missed exercise.”
Pakistan’s next assignment is the Asia Cup in Malaysia, which begins on 3 June.