Born in Cape Town in 1988, talented fast bowler Shabnim Ismail broke into the South African women’s national cricketing side at the tender age of 17 in 2007, against Pakistan. Already she has become one of the leading wicket-takers for South African in limited-overs cricket, having taken more than 140 wickets in One Day Internationals (ODIs) and Twenty20 combined.
To date, she has played 59 ODIs and 58 Twenty20 internationals.
Such has been her talent that she attracted attention in Australia, playing two games for the Melbourne Renegades in the Big Bash League. In her debut match earlier this year she took two wickets in as many balls, finishing with three for 10 runs, impressing many with her raw pace and unerring accuracy.
Additionally, she has been contracted to play in the United Kingdom for the Yorkshire Diamonds in the equivalent Twenty20 super league in that country starting at the end of July, as one of her three foreign signings.
Her commitment to her bowling over the years has reflected her character, as she has made the transition from being a first-change bowler to a leading opening bowler for the national team.
Last year, she received the Women’s Sports Star of the Year award in the South African Sports Awards. — Iwan Pienaar
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