"We would like to play as much cricket here as we can" says Javeria Khan

Women's CricZone Staff
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Captain's knock backed by the bowlers keep Pakistan alive in the tournament

Javeria Khan in action. © ICC

Javeria Khan, captain of Pakistan's team, was interviewed by Cricket Corner. During the interview, the domestic setup of cricket in Pakistan and various other topics were discussed.

The interview started with Khan being asked what she thought was the reason behind the teams current lack of form. After being whitewashed by Australia in a home series, Pakistan went on to win just one match in their T20 World Cup campaign. "I don't judge a match by the result," she said. "Rather, I see how the team performed, whether they had improved or not because at the moment, we are developing our youngsters and when you're doing that, results take their time."

Having said that, Khan acknowledged that Pakistan had defeated West Indies, South Africa and New Zealand recently. She did however add that it would be unfair to compare Pakistan's performance to that of the likes of Australia and England, as "they have a different structure from us that has been setup for quite a while now. Ours hasn't been around for that long. Other countries have leagues, school cricket, club cricket."

As for the frequent claims of the Pakistani public that the same people are played based on favouritism, Khan was quick to refute this view. "Selection is made on the basis of performance," she explained. "If a senior doesn't perform, they won't be given an opportunity, likewise for the youngsters. However, the problem is that there is not a big pool to choose from. You have a pool of 25-30 players and that's it."

"To solve this issue, PCB has setup five academies for youngsters who want to join the sport. They will get proper training here as an entire staff is available," Khan continued.

Khan further commented on the lack of power-hitters in the squad saying, "this is an area that we are working on rectifying. It's about technique and with practice and more experience, hopefully it will show."

There is a pay gap between the men's team and the women's. When asked if what they are paid is enough to run  a household, Khan replied, "Those financially strong do fine, but those in a lower category cannot run their households on their income from cricket alone. This is also a reason why not many girls continue. Cricket is an expensive game and we don't get many sponsorships so, parents of girls from financially weak families don't feel comfortable sending them."

Khan also laid great emphasis on the importance of having a league of our own, commenting "Countries who have their own leagues have improved immeasurably. When you play with foreign players, you learn and improve. Here, we don't even have cricket at home so there is a shortage of cricket. If we get a league where we can play with others, they will be strong competition." She also added it would encourage more girls to join the sport.

With international cricket gradually returning to Pakistan, Khan expressed her views on a possible opportunity to play on home soil. "It's different playing at home. You know the conditions better," she said. "We play our 'away' series abroad and getting to know the pitch takes time. Playing in you country, in front of your people, your family, it's a matter of great pride and we would like to play as much cricket here as we can."