Pakistan’s cricket community is left in surprise as the young prodigy, Ayesha Naseem, bids farewell to her international cricket career at the age of just 18. Despite her short stint, Ayesha managed to make an impact, representing Pakistan in four ODIs and 30 T20Is.
Her standout performance in the T20 World Cup 2022, where she scored a quickfire 24 runs against Australia, earned her praise from none other than cricket legend Wasim Akram, who hailed her as a ‘serious talent.’ However, Ayesha has chosen to follow her heart and retire from the sport she showed immense promise in, citing her desire to adhere to the principles of Islam.
While no official confirmation has come from the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) yet, Ayesha’s decision leaves fans and cricket enthusiasts wondering about the future star they saw in her, particularly in white-ball formats. Drawing parallels with Indian actress Zaira Wasim, who retired from Bollywood at 18 to uphold her religious beliefs, Ayesha’s choice echoes the strength of conviction in following one’s faith.
Having represented Pakistan 30 WT20Is, she scored 369 runs at an average of 18.45 and scoring 33 runs in ODIs, Ayesha’s potential was evident. However, it was her standout performance in the 2023 Women’s T20 World Cup that caught everyone’s attention. She played a magnificent unbeaten knock of 43 runs off just 25 balls against India, displaying her ability to take on some of the best bowlers in the world.
Ayesha’s prowess was not limited to that match alone. In June 2021, she stunned fans with a blistering 33-ball 45* against the West Indies, showcasing her aggressive and fearless approach to batting. Just a month later, in May of the same year, she repeated the feat, scoring an identical 45* off 31 balls against Sri Lanka in a T20I match in Karachi.
However, despite her exceptional performances and the potential to become a star in the world of cricket, Ayesha has made the heartfelt decision to step away from the game. As per a report in Cricket Pakistan, she has already informed the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) about her retirement.
Though her departure is a loss for Pakistani cricket, Ayesha Naseem’s decision deserves respect as she chooses to follow her own path in life. Cricket fans will remember her fearless batting and contributions to the game, and her legacy will undoubtedly serve as an inspiration for aspiring cricketers, both in Pakistan and around the world.