Bismah Maroof announces pregnancy; takes indefinite break from cricket

Bismah Maroof. © Getty Images

Pakistan skipper Bismah Maroof announced that she will be going on maternity leave and will be on an indefinite break from cricket. She tweeted on Friday (April 16).

The 29-year-old Maroof last played international cricket when she led Pakistan during the T20 World Cup in March 2020 in Australia. She injured her hand during the match against England and didn’t feature in the subsequent matches. She opted out of Pakistan’s series against South Africa for personal reasons when they visited the Rainbow Nation in January this year.

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) is likely to use this opportunity to bring in clauses related to pregnancy in the central contracts for the first time, ESPNCricinfo reported. They are likely to amend the contracts, which would mean that Maroof continues to earn her monthly sum as per PCB’s category A contracts, which she’s been given. The relevant clauses would enable players to be eligible for medical perks during their time of absence, something which Maroof is likely to benefit from. She would be the first player to utilise the pregnancy provision, if and when the clauses are introduced.

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The left-handed Maroof has captained Pakistan in 18 ODIs and 38 T20Is and she has played over 100 matches in both the formats scoring 4827 runs including 25 fifties. She has also taken 80 wickets with a best of 4 for 7.

Batter Javeria Khan led the team in her absence during the South Africa series as Pakistan went down in the ODI series 3-0 and won only one match during the T20I series defeat. From there, Pakistan travelled to Zimbabwe for another 50-over and T20I series, but the series was cut short due to travel restrictions that were in place in Zimbabwe owing to COVID-19 pandemic.