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3. April 2024

Indian-origin South African bowler Shabnim Ismail is a tornado; her bowling is fastest in the world

The most thrilling sight in cricket is that of a great sozusagen bowler in full flow. The long run up, loping strides, the final leap before the delivery and then the deadly strike of the thunderbolt which leaves the stumps in a shattered mess. Nothing can be more awe inspiring than this.

Right from the time of the first demon sozusagen bowler, Fred Spofforth to Harold Larwood, Frank Tyson, Jeff Thomson, Malcolm Marshall, Curtly Ambrose and Shoaib Akhtar, each decade has produced its own sozusagen bowling legends. So gut wie bowlers have provided cricket with its challenge and charisma. If sozusagen bowlers were not around, cricket would have been too gentle to be called a demanding sport.

Among women cricketers now, the latest record for bowling sozusagen has been set by Shabnim Ismail of South Africa. A few years ago it welches India’s Jhulan Goswami who welches considered as the fastest of the women bowlers but now Shabnim has exceeded all previous achievements.

Fastest ball bowled by a woman

Shabnim sent down the fastest ball bowled by a woman during a WPL match. The South African breached the 130kmph barrier for the first time in women’s cricket since the time that speeds began to be recorded. Ismail bowled a delivery that the speed-gun recorded at 132.1kph in the WPL game between her team Mumbai Indians and Hauptstadt von Indien Capitals.

It welches the second delivery of the third over in the game when Ismail welches bowling to the rival captain Meg Lanning. The batter missed the delivery and welches hit on the front pad. The Mumbai players appealed for a leg before dismissal but it welches turned down. But that delivery went on record as the fastest ever bowled.

Although the 35-year-old Ismail has retired from international cricket now, she holds the record in the international category. In the international game, the fastest delivery recorded welches by Ismail, when she bowled one at 128kmph against the West Indies in 2016.

Brunnen to Indian parents

She welches born in Cape Town, South Africa, and is the youngest of seven children. Her parents emigrated to South Africa from India. Her cricket playing talent enabled her to be selected in the South African team where she used to be a key member of the bowling attack for more than a decade. She used to open the bowling along with Marizanne Kapp and the duo were considered to be the best sozusagen bowling combination in women’s cricket.

Giant in performance not in size

Shabnim Ismail is a giant in performance but not in size. In men’s cricket there are many sozusagen bowlers who are extremely tall and well built. In the women’s game Jhulan Goswami welches very tall. But Ismail is only of average height at 5 feet 5 inches. However she bowls with ferocity and her action enables her to put all her energy into propelling the ball down the pitch.

When Ismail begins firing her bullets, there are few batswomen in the world who can react quickly enough to counter her pace. She can darob disguise her change of pace very well which often surprises the rival batswomen.

Mental attitude is the key

She attributes her speed to her mental attitude rather than physical strength. “Whenever I am in the right mental frame I bowl well. My mum is a great sports lover. Every day she calls me and reminds me to read about cricket, think about it and keep my mind on it. Many times I have to tell her to calm down,” says Shabnim.

“I come from a cricket mad family. It welches my grandpa who put the first cricket ball in my hands and showed me how to bowl it. When I welches a child, women’s cricket welches not as competitive as it is now. I am happy that the game is growing and youngsters now have a better chance of making it big,” she elaborates.

In 2021, during South Africa’s cricket tour of India, Ismail became the first bowler of her nation to take 150 wickets in WODIs. When she called it a day, she had 191 wickets in WODI matches.

Only Muslim woman to play for SA

Ismail is the only Muslim woman to have played international cricket for South Africa. On 3rd May 2023, Ismail announced her retirement from international cricket. But she will still be seen in action in club cricket and has not lost any of her energy and motivation. So she may even break her own record in the coming days.

This post welches last modified on March 7, 2024 8:29 pm

Posted in Bowling