Sydney Thunder has added extra firepower to its Rebel Women’s Big Bash League roster by signing Pakistan all-rounder Nida Dar, the ‘Lady Boom Boom’ of world cricket.
Dar, whose ability to score rapid runs is reminiscent of male compatriot Shahid Afridi, starred in Pakistan’s T20I series against South Africa. A highlight of her campaign was blasting 75 off 37 deliveries.
The 32-year-old, who has played 96 T20Is and 71 ODIs, has created history by becoming the first woman from Pakistan to sign a deal with an international cricket league.
She made her T20I debut in 2010 and has joined former captain Sana Mir as her nation’s leading wicket-taker with 88. Dar’s 1086 runs have been scored at an impressive strike rate of 96.27.
Nida Dar scores the second-fastest fifty in all women's T20Is, reaching the mark in 20 balls!— ICC (@ICC) May 22, 2019
What a comeback for Pakistan after the South African bowlers got off to a fantastic start in the 4th T20I!
WATCH #SAvPAK LIVE 📹 https://t.co/WduwT2YA5V pic.twitter.com/UeoGxdYqz5
“It’s wonderful,” said Dar, who replaces West Indian Stafanie Taylor as Thunder’s international all-rounder.
“I have dreamt that I would one day play in this amazing league, and now I have the opportunity to play for Sydney Thunder.
"This is a great thing for me, it is a great achievement to play in the WBBL. I have been following the WBBL, it is great.”
Dar said she’ll have one goal when she kits up to play alongside her Thunder teammates, including Australian vice-captain Rachael Haynes and New Zealand international Rachel Priest.
“Sydney Thunder need an all-rounder and they want an energetic player, so I think I can offer those two things to them.
“It’s T20 cricket, so it is an attacking game and I am an attacking player. I have always wanted to excite people. I want to grab the audience.”
She added that it was her intention to make Pakistan proud.
“It is the very first time a woman from Pakistan has come to play in the WBBL,” she said. “I know people from Pakistan will be very proud.
“I know the people who have come from Pakistan to settle in Sydney will follow me, and that’s very exciting.”
Sydney Thunder coach Trevor Griffin said Dar has the credentials and class to be a force in the WBBL.
“Nida is a fantastic signing for us,” he said.
“She’s a world-class player with Pakistan and she’s going to bring a wealth of experience to Thunder.
“She’s ranked in the top five ICC players for T20 all-rounders and she’s got vast experience that will help with our young players and certainly add to the team.”
Griffin said dealing with the Pakistan Cricket Board, and in particular Mark Coles who coaches the national women's team, was a rewarding experience.
"Mark was very supportive through the whole process," said Griffin. "He stayed in regular contact, letting us know how we can best support Nida when she arrives in Sydney.
"Under Mark's tutelage we're seeing Pakistan's cricketers being exposed to some wonderful opportunities. I have no doubt we'll see more players from there play in the world's elite T20 leagues."
Sydney Thunder WBBL Squad
Head Coach: Trevor Griffin
Assistant Coach: Mark McInnes
Contracted for WBBL|05: Rachael Haynes (C), Sam Bates, Alex Blackwell, Nida Dar, Hannah Darlington, Rene Farrell, Lisa Griffith, Saskia Horley, Kate Peterson, Rachel Priest, Naomi Stalenberg, Rachel Trenaman, Tahlia Wilson
Sydney Thunder is set to open the first ever standalone WBBL season with a blockbuster Sydney Smash against crosstown rivals the Sydney Sixers at North Sydney Oval on Friday 18 October.
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