The cricket world’s attention all turned to Pakistan women’s cricket captain Bismah Maroof following her team’s match against India at the ICC Women’s World Cup on Sunday. Her baby daughter became the focus of an endearing moment between teams India and Pakistan after she appeared in her mother’s arms at the end of the match.
We caught our first glimpse of little Fatima after Maroof and the team arrived at Bay Oval in Mount Maunganui, New Zealand, ahead of their match against India.
There was more to see of Maroof’s daughter, though; after the match, Maroof brought her out for cameras, and the Indian cricket team could not get enough of her.
Many stood around Maroof and tried to grab little Fatima’s attention. For a few moments, the captain’s daughter seemed to have brought both teams together as rivalries (and political animosities) were put aside.
Of course, this wholesome bonding moment between India and Pakistan did not go unnoticed on the internet.
Twittersphere gives its two cents
“What a photo,” commented one user on Twitter. “India players with Pakistan captain Bismah Maroof and her kid after the World Cup game.”
“This will warm your heart in beautiful ways,” tweeted another user.
Having this moment cemented Maroof’s legacy as an athlete committed to thriving as a mother without having to choose between the two contributed greatly to her success — a feat that stands as a source of inspiration for other women. Many netizens appreciated Maroof for this reason as well.
“Bismah Maroof’s legacy will go far beyond her achievements on the field. In a society that often tells women to make choices between career and family, she’s showing that you can have both! Such an inspiring person,” read a tweet.
“In a society where women have to choose one in career and family, Bismah Maroof shows that both can be done. Very inspiring!” said one user.
Maroof became a mother in August of last year. As a mother and a cricketer, Maroof is an inspiration for not just women in sports, but also women in other careers and pursuits, especially in Pakistan, a country where women are often forced to quit their jobs when they become mothers because of societal pressures or a lack of institutional support.
Having the right policies in place and a support system in place means women are able to pave the way for their careers and motherhood. Maroof is a testament to that.
Although many are cheering on Maroof for “doing it all”, we hope the support continues even if she chooses to prioritize her daughter before her career. It will not diminish the brilliant athlete that she is.
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