When we talk about women’s cricket in Pakistan, we simply cannot forget the name of Kiran Baluch. She was amongst the pioneers of Pakistan’s women cricket team. She was born on the 23rd of February in 1978. Unlike other girls, Baluch was interested more in sports and she also played basketball and badminton during her early days.
There were no cricketing facilities for women way back in the 1990s and Kiran Baluch was one of those rare girls who wanted to pursue a professional career in the game.
Career and Early Life:
Kiran Baluch made her debut in 1997 on an away tour of New Zealand. It was also the first-ever tour of the Pakistan women cricket team. She went on to play 40 ODIs and three Test matches for Pakistan.
Cricket was in the blood of the family as her father also used to play competitive first-class cricket and played for teams like Pakistan Television Network (PTV) and Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) in the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy.
In 1996, Shaiza Khan was leading the Pakistan Women Cricket Control Board and she was looking for some talented young players to join the squad. Women’s cricket was on the rise in the early 90s in Pakistan and Shaiza got the attention of the young Kiran Baluch.
She was selected on trial basis for the upcoming tour of New Zealand where the women in green were supposed to take on Australia and New Zealand women.
There were some domestic matches scheduled as well on that tour. Until 1997, Kiran Baluch was not even playing cricket regularly and her first assignment in professional cricket came in when she took part in the Fatima-Jinnah Trophy.
Kiran Baluch: Because of the PCB management’s treatment with women cricketers, I quit cricket. The management was picked solely on nepotism and favoritism was IT disrespectful and degrading.
Kiran Baluch holds the record for the highest individual score by a woman in Test matches. Her majestic 242 against West Indies was the highlight of her professional career.
She played in 40 One-Day Internationals for Pakistan and also featured in three Test matches for the green team. She was also part of the first-ever ODI match of Pakistan against New Zealand in 1997.
The green shirts were bowled out for a mere 56 and the Kiwi women won that match by 10 wickets. She also has a Test half-century on debut when she took on Sri Lanka in the first-ever Test match of Pakistan. She also achieved her career-best bowling performance by taking 2 wickets for 41 runs in the same match where she scored 242 runs against the West Indies women.