Sharmeen Khan

Born on April 1st 1972 in Karachi, Sind, former Test and ODI opening bowler for Pakistan, Sharmeen Khan.

Along with her older sister Shaiza Khan, Sharmeen was a pioneer for the Pakistan women’s cricket team and the challenges that went with it: death threats, no grounds to play on and the opposition of the PCB. That any cricket was ever to be played at international level by Pakistan women is directly attributable to the determination of the two sisters.

Sharmeen, a right-arm medium fast bowler, made her international debut on tour to New Zealand in 1996/97 at Hagley Oval in Christchurch. Pakistan, skippered by Shaiza, was humbled for just 56 runs however it was an historic occasion for the newest women’s cricket nation. In the second of the two matches the home team amassed 455 runs although Sharmeen did get first wickets at international level (2-87) and top scored for Pakistan with 11 runs in the team’s reply of 47.

Against Australia on the same tour the result in the one-off ODI was similar to the results in New Zealand. Perhaps Pakistan was not supposed to be playing at this level? Nobody told the Pakistan women that and they pressed on, making their World Cup debut in 1996/97 in New Zealand. In that series Sharmeen was opening both the batting and the bowling, scoring 41 against England and her highest ODI score of 48 against South Africa.

The following season in 1997/98, Sharmeen and Pakistan made their debut in Test cricket, against Sri Lanka at Colombo. Sharmeen took her best Test figures of 3-23 in the first innings.

Sharmeen ended her career having played two Tests and 26 ODIs. Her overall stats are quite modest, but this is to be expected for new team and her real value sits with her belief and determination of establishing women’s cricket in Pakistan. She died of Pneumonia in Lahore in 2018 at just 46 years of age, forever remembered as a cherished cricket pioneer.