Emerging Pakistani cricketing star Ayesha Naseem shocked Pakistani fans when she recently announced her decision to retire from cricket and lead a religious life, following the virtues of Islam. Naseem’s family conveyed the news to Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB). The 18-year-old’s retirement will be a big blow for women’s cricket in the country.

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Having made a debut in 2020, she made a name for herself in both the T20 and ODI formats of the sport, being particularly renowned for her aggressive style and technique with the bat. At age 15, she was part of the Pakistan team at the 2020 ICC T20 Women’s World Cup. 

There she showed off her potential and would only solidify it in years to come. During her short career, she amassed 402 runs and made waves in January of this year when she scored 24 runs off just 20 balls with three sixes and one four. A host of performances led former Pakistan captain Wasim Akram to label her a “serious talent” for the women’s game.

Young cricketer cites religion as the cause of retirement 

The cricketer has stated that she wants to live her life per Islamic values and that she wants to explore a spiritual life. This decision ultimately led her to leave her promising cricketing career behind.  

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The Pakistani women’s team hasn’t played international cricket since the conclusion of the 2023 ICC T20 World Cup in February, where Naseem made a mark.  She had a memorable performance in the group stage and scored 43 runs off 25 balls. She had an average of 18.45 and a strike rate of 128.12.