Lahore: Nida Dar has become the first Pakistan woman cricketer to feature in a foreign league after she was selected by Sydney Thunder as their overseas professional player in Australia’s Women’s Big Bash League, which will be played from 18 October to 8 December.
Nida has played 71 ODIs and 96 T20Is since making her international debut in 2010 and will leave for Sydney on 5 October before rejoining the national team in Kuala Lumpur on 1 December for the ICC Women’s Championship fixture against England.
Sydney Thunder will be in action on the opening day of the tournament when they will take on Sydney Sixers in a derby match.
“I am delighted to get this opportunity, which, I hope will open doors for my other Pakistan team-mates,” Nida told the PCB Podcast.
“The Women’s Big Bash League is an extremely tough event and while I am keen to make a name for myself, I aim to learn as much cricket as possible, which, in turn, will help me improve as a cricketer.
“The opportunity to play in Australia couldn’t have come at a better time as they also host the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup 2020 from 21 February to 8 March. I am hoping the experience I will gain by playing in the Women’s Big Bash League will allow me to provide my feedback to the Pakistan team management which, in turn, will help us prepare better for the global tournament.”
As participation in the Women’s Big Bash League is being seen as a critical and timely experience that will benefit both Nida and the Pakistan women’s cricket team for the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup Australia 2020, a strategic decision has been made to exempt her from the home series against Bangladesh from 26 October to 4 November. The series against Bangladesh will count towards the ICC team ranking but is not be part of the ICC Women’s Championship.
Also featuring in the fifth edition of the PCB Podcast is Australia legend David Boon, who is refereeing in the ongoing limited overs series between Pakistan and Sri Lanka.
On his return to the country where he also visited as a player in 1987, 1988 and 1992, Boon said: “It is good to be back. There have been a lot of unfortunate issues, which have been out of control of many people, here in the last ten years or so.
“Playing cricket back in Pakistan is only good for the game, and good for the people of Pakistan who follow cricket.
“It is even more important for young kids to be able to see players from their and other countries play the game here. They get that vision that moving forward they want to play the game themselves.”
Boon, who played 107 Tests and 181 ODIs for Australia from 1984 to 1996, advised the Pakistan team to be patient when they tour Down Under later this year for the World Test Championship fixtures.