Playing alongside foreign players helped young cricketers get familiar with international standards, Imtiaz says
Pakistan all-rounder Kainat Imtiaz has lauded the Pakistan Cricket Board's (PCB) decision to hold exhibition matches during the latest edition of the Pakistan Super League (PSL).
In an exclusive interview with Geo Digital, the all-rounder said that playing alongside foreign players helped young cricketers get familiar with international standards.
During PSL 8, three exhibition matches for women were held where international female cricketers also participated. It was a trial run for the main women’s league, which is expected to be launched in September this year.
Imtiaz further expressed hope that the upcoming women's PSL would further help improve players, the impact of which will be visible in upcoming years.
About her cricket journey, Kainat shared: “I was a ball picker in the Women's Asia Cup 2005, held in Pakistan. At that event, I was very impressed by the game and former Indian women's cricketer Jhulan Goswami's humble personality.
"That is when I decided that I would become a fast bowler. However, later I started batting too."
Imtiaz — who debuted in cricket in 2010 — further lauded the efforts of women trying to make their name in cricket and said: “Women have to work really hard to make it to the national team. They practice in the scorching heat and spend their whole days simply playing, eating and sleeping.”
Meanwhile, in response to a question about her first match for Pakistan and how she felt at that moment, she said: “My hands and feet were cold with nervousness about how my performance would be.
"Because I was informed I would be playing the match only an hour before it started, I got less time to think. However, my debut was declared the best debut till last year."
“My best cricketing moment is the day when I played World Cup for the first time in 2017,” she added.
When asked why the popularity of women cricketers is less than that of male cricketers, she highlighted a lack of coverage of women's sports.
"When I meet someone who does not know that I play cricket for Pakistan, they get excited but also say that they have never watched you playing on TV.
"Our matches need more live coverages," she concluded.