Ayesha Naseem retires from cricket

Ayesha Naseem has decided to call it day from cricket owing to religious reasons. She has informed her decision to the PCB

Women's CricZone Staff
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Ayesha Naseem

Ayesha Naseem during T20 World Cup 2023 © ICC/ Getty

Pakistan cricketer Ayesha Naseem has decided to retire from international cricket citing religious reasons. The cricketer has informed the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) according to a report in cricbuzz

As per the report, the 18-year-old conveyed the decision to the governing body after the T20 World Cup 2023 in South Africa where Pakistan had a first round exit. The PCB reached out to the player and made mutiple attempts to make the young batter reconsider her decision but to no avail.

Ayesha hails from Abbottabad in Pakistan and has represented the side in 34 international matches despite multiple setbacks with injuries. After making her debut in 2020 against Thailand during the T20 World Cup in Australia, she went on to score 402 runs in international cricket. But it's her big-hitting ability that made the world sit up and notice her and her batting strike rate of 128.12 in T20Is is a testament to that.

After impressing everyone with a couple of 30s against the hosts during the South Africa tour in 2021, Ayesha scored 45 not out of 33 balls against West Indies in North Sound. Although she then went on to play a few cameos down the order for Pakistan, her most famous knock came against the neighbours India during the high-octane clash in the T20 World Cup 2023.

Walking in at 68 for 4, Ayesha played a stroke-filled innings of 43 from 25 balls with two fours and two sixes. Even though India went on to win the game thanks to heroics from Jemimah Rodrigues and Richa Ghosh, the big-hitting batter recieved praises from her skipper Bismah Maroof as well as the cricketing community.

Abbottabad is a traditonally conservative city and Ayesha is the only second player from region after Qanita Jalil. The retirement of the batter will be a big loss for Pakistan as power-hitting is still a rarity in Pakistan cricket.