KARACHI: Despite being whitewashed in both the T20Is and the ODIs, Bangladesh Women take back good memories, love and experience from their first-ever tour of Pakistan.
The captain of the visiting side, Salma Khatun, told The Express Tribune that the players were excited to visit the country when the series was announced but added their parents had some reservations due to the security issues.
“All of us really wanted to visit Pakistan as it was our first tour to the country and also because Pakistan are much more experienced,” said Salma. “We have visited many countries but the kind of security we received in Pakistan was unlike any that we have received anywhere else. It is a peaceful country, unlike what is shown in the news.”
Salma added the players leave happy despite losing 4-0. “We didn’t win any matches but we have received a lot of love and experience,” she said. “The experience will surely help us in our upcoming series against South Africa.”
Bangladesh fast-bowler Jahanara Alam also felt that their welcome was much warmer than what they had anticipated, praising Pakistan for their hospitality. “When we arrived at the airport, our welcome was no less than that of any male team; it really made us feel like stars. I wish we could have stayed here for a while longer and visited more places,” she said.
Meanwhile, Rumana Ahmed —the standout performer with the bat for the visiting side — was also left impressed with the sportsmanship of the crowd, who not only supported their own players but also cheered on the visiting side. “The energy these school and college girls had was fabulous,” she said. “Despite the hot weather, they were cheering every ball.”
Pakistan players happy after playing at home
The captain of Pakistan Women, Sana Mir, said her side had waited 10 years for this moment and thanked both boards for making it possible. “At one point, we had stopped thinking that we would ever play an international match at home, but the Pakistan Cricket Board and the Bangladesh team made it possible.”
Meanwhile, the player of the series in both ODIs and the T20Is, Bismah Maroof, said she felt like a star. “No one knew much about me or my teammates; at best people just knew Sana as she was the captain,” she said. “But this series has made stars out of all of us. I loved the way the fans were chanting my name.”