Pakistan Women's disastrous World Cup campaign forced the team to rebuild
A year after being sacked as ODI captain, Sana Mir became the first Pakistan woman to be No 1 ranked one-day bowler
By Kalika Mehta - @Journo_K
Last Updated: 04/11/18 3:07pm
Ahead of the upcoming ICC Women's World T20, Sky Sports Cricket is profiling each of the 10 teams. Kalika Mehta looks at how Pakistan have recovered after a public fallout from a disastrous World Cup campaign in 2017.
While the World Cup provided a launching pad for most of the women's teams and players that participated in it, it proved to be a poisoned chalice for Pakistan.
The team failed to win a single game in the tournament, falling to an unexpected 15-run defeat by lower-ranked Sri Lanka in their final group match.
It consigned the side to a second-consecutive winless World Cup campaign - leaving them without a win in the 50-over showpiece tournament since 14 March 2009.
There were times when it looked as though they would end that drought in Leicester against Sri Lanka - reducing their opposition to 98-5 before allowing them to recover to 221 and reaching 134-4 in their chase - but Pakistan self-imploded, courtesy of a run out, extending their miserable and unwanted record to 14 matches.
As often happens, an inquisition followed back home and a scathing report laid plenty of the blame for the dismal outing at the feet of captain Sana Mir's feet.
It should come as little surprise that there was alleged dressing room unrest and following a number of leaks, much of the teams internal 'dirty laundry' was aired publicly.
At the time it appeared as though Mir would step away from international cricket, despite ending the World Cup as Pakistan's highest runscorer and picking six wickets.
The ultimate consequences saw the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) strip Mir of the ODI captaincy, with the reigns handed over to T20 skipper Bismah Maroof, with general manager Shamsa Hashmi axed and the selection committee for the women's wing disbanded.
For the first time, the PCB appointed a foreign coach for the women's side as New Zealander Mark Coles took over, on a temporary basis, for the three-match ICC Women's Championship series against the White Ferns in the United Arab Emirates last October.
Three months on and disagreements set aside the team returned to the field, with Mir playing under the stewardship of Maroof.
Although the hosts lost the series 2-1, all-rounder Mir starred in the final ODI - picking up 4-25 to help skittle New Zealand out for 155 before hitting an unbeaten 12 to lead Pakistan to a five-wicket win.
The restructure continued and in January of this year, former Pakistan men's bowler Jalal-ud-Din was appointed the head of a newly-formed three-person selection panel by the PCB.
Seamer Asmavia Iqbal called time on her 12-year playing career and was included in the panel alongside former men's batsman Akhtar Sarfraz.
Coles was also handed a two-year contract after his trial period was deemed successful as he sought to bring harmony back to the dressing room and lay to bed any unrest or frustrations felt by the players.
With a semblance of stability restored Pakistan won both of their ODI and T20I series against Sri Lanka at the start of the year as Coles' full-time tenure got off to an ideal start.
But, the T20 Asia Cup in June ended in disappointment as Mahroof's side lost to India and lower-ranked Bangladesh - who went on to win their maiden title of the tournament.
Although Pakistan earned a T20 series whitewash of the Asia Cup holders last month, they were crushed in their three-match ODI and T20 series against Australia only two weeks later - in a confidence-sapping outing.
However, there was reason for joy for former captain Mir who, after picking up seven wickets across the three one-day games against the Southern Stars, became the first Pakistan female player to be the No 1 ranked ODI bowler in the world.
It is a remarkable achievement for an off-spinner who began her career as a fast bowler but was deemed too slow to continue as a seamer.
She overcame that disappointment to become Pakistan's leading ODI wicket-takers, and joint-fifth - alongside England's Katherine Brunt - in the world with 136 scalps.
At the age of 32, Mir continues to lead from the front and while batting at seven does not often offer her the opportunity to score as much as she has in the past she remains at the heart of Pakistan's success.
Fellow spinners Anam Amin and Nida Dar have both honed their games too and after a number of fine performances in the shortest format of the game - especially from 26-year-old Amin - the pair have been propelled into the top 10 T20 bowlers in the ICC rankings.
Despite a testing 15 months for the team, Pakistan look to have come out the other side as a more professional team and the World T20 in the Caribbean will be a litmus test to see how far they have really come.
Watch every match from the ICC Women's World T20 live on Sky Sports this November.