Everyone knows West Indian legend Brian Lara for his record of scoring the highest score in a Test inning. Whereas, fewer know about Pakistan’s very own Kiran Baluch, who is the highest scorer in women’s cricket in a Test inning with 242 runs to her name.
Kiran Baluch, daughter of former First Class cricketer, started playing cricket at home with his father and youngest brother. When she was growing up, there was no concept of women cricket in Pakistan. It only came into existence when two sisters, Shaiza Khan and Sharmeen Khan took the responsibility of introducing women cricket in Pakistan in 1996.
In October 1996, the Pakistan Women’s Cricket Control Association headed by Shaiza held an open trial to build a team. Baluch was approached by Khan in 1997, her first major cricket tournament was Fatima Jinnah Trophy. Courtesy of her performance in the tournament, she was selected for the national side.
Kiran Baluch made her ODI debut against New Zealand On Janurary 28, 1997 at Christchurch and made her Test debut against Sri Lanka in April at Colombo. In 1999, Kiran was honoured to represent Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) team, when membership was opened to women for the first time in its history.
West Indian team toured Pakistan in 2004, where they played seven ODIs and a Test. In the one off Test played at the National Stadium Karachi, Kiran surpassed her Indian counterpart Mithali Raj’s highest score of 214 runs to create history in the last Test match of her career, scoring 242 runs against the West Indies.
Baluch represented Pakistan in three Tests and 40 ODIs before taking retirement from international cricket. She is also a member of MCC along with her former teammates, Shaiza Khan and Sharmeen Khan. The trio was the only three women to be a part of this prestigious club.