BBC said If you’ve been paying attention to the Women’s World Cup, you will know that one of the stars of the tournament is not yet seven months old. Alongside Deandra Dottin taking gravity-defying catches, Shabnim Ismail bowling rockets and Meg Lanning cutting with precision a surgeon would be proud of another stand-out has been baby Fatima, daughter of Pakistan captain Bismah Maroof.
Pictures of Fatima being cooed over by India players after their win over Pakistan were beamed around the world, the significance of the scene, given the political situation between the two countries, lost on no-one.
For Bismah to be balancing the demands of motherhood with the pressure of leading her country at a World Cup is nothing short of remarkable, doubly so when you consider that she only gave birth in August.
When she became pregnant in late 2020, the batter thought her international career was over. But with the help of a maternity policy put in place by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) and the encouragement of coach David Hemp, Bismah has made an inspirational return.
“It was a beautiful moment in my life, but from a professional point of view it was scary, because of the uncertainty,” Bismah told Stumped on the BBC World Service.
“I didn’t know what would happen. At that moment it seemed like my career would end.”
When Bismah confided to Hemp in that she was eight weeks pregnant, she had recently been taking part in domestic T20 matches.
“She was upset,” said Hemp, the former Glamorgan and Warwickshire batter, who also played for Bermuda at the Men’s World Cup.
“On the one hand there was excitement, but as a player she might have felt like she had some unfinished business.”