Fatima Sana credits coaching staff and seniors for her success

Fatima Sana © PCB

Young pacer Fatima Sana has credited the coaching staff and senior players in the Pakistan side for her success in the recently concluded ODI series against West Indies. She bowled 31 overs across five matches and took 11 wickets, only behind West Indies veteran Anisa Mohammed’s tally of 12 wickets.

“A lot of the credit goes to the coaching staff, who give us all they have behind the scenes and work with us around the clock to help us improve as cricketers. That I have seniors in Javeria Khan and a new ball partner in Diana Baig has also helped me a great deal,” Sana said after taking her career-best figures of five for 37 in the final match of the tour.

Sana, who made her debut against South Africa in 2019, was on her first tour of the windy Caribbean Islands and it came with particular challenges. ”Upon arriving here, I was exposed to strong winds blowing across the grounds. I worked on how to bowl with the wind and control the ball movement both in the air and off the pitch. It has paid dividends. This tour has provided me with a great learning experience,” Sana added.

“Growing up, it seemed as if fast bowling was all about delivering the ball with all the energy you have. That’s not what it is all about. Fast bowling is an art. You have to hit the right areas, and, more importantly, adapt with the conditions on offer. This is something I have learned on this trip.”

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In the final ODI, Sana, along with another teen sensation Ayesha Naseem, scored aggressively in the death overs to give Pakistan a fighting chance. Sana’s contribution included four boundaries in the final four overs. The 19-year-old harbours ambitions of becoming an allrounder for Pakistan in the long run.

“I did not bat much in street cricket because the boys thought I might get hit by the ball. So, initially, I invested all of my energy into bowling because I just wanted to play. Of  late, I have been working on my batting and I want to establish myself as an allrounder,” Sana said. “When you wear the golden star you want to contribute in every facet and win matches for your side. So, I am trying my best to develop myself into a player who contributes in every situation.”

Sana, who has played 17 internationals until now for Pakistan and has taken 21 wickets, said the success so far has motivated her to work harder and keep contributing to the side and help them win more matches.

“It was the happiest day of my life when I wore the Pakistan shirt in 2019, but I knew I needed to cement my place in the team by making contributions that lead my country to victories. You put in hard yards during fitness, gym and net sessions to compete with the international cricketers – the best of the best – and when you get results, it certainly makes you happy, and when you start to taste success it further motivates you to work harder,” Sana concluded.