Anisa Mohammed: The First Lady of West Indies Cricket

Anisa Mohammed: Trailblazing Cricketer and Record-Setter

In the heart of Sangre Grande, Trinidad and Tobago, a young girl named Anisa Mohammed dreamed of making a mark in the world of cricket. Born on September 7, 1988, Anisa’s journey from the local cricket fields of her village to becoming one of the most celebrated cricketers in the world is nothing short of inspirational.

Early Life and Education of Anisa Mohammed

Anisa Mohammed grew up in the quaint village of Maraj Hill, Coalmine, surrounded by the love and encouragement of her family. With a twin sister, Alisa, and twin brothers, Ashmeed and Ashmeer, Anisa’s household was lively and full of energy.

Her parents, Imtiaz and Leela, both shared a passion for cricket, which they passed down to their children. Imtiaz, a Muslim, played club cricket, while Leela, a Hindu, was an avid participant in soft-ball cricket.

From a young age, Anisa Mohammed showed a natural talent for the sport. Her family’s support was unwavering, and they formed a local community team called the MAAAD Rangers, where Anisa was appointed captain.

Anisa Mohammed honed her skills at the Sangre Grande Hindu School, the SWAHA Hindu College, and the School of Continuing Studies, Trinidad and Tobago. Her dedication and performance at the local level soon caught the attention of selectors, and she was called up to the Trinidad and Tobago women’s national cricket team.

Early International Career

Anisa’s international debut came at an astonishingly young age. Just shy of her 15th birthday, Anisa Mohammed played her first One Day International (ODI) match for the West Indies against Japan in the 2003 IWCC Trophy. Her performance was a sign of things to come, as she took the wicket of Ritsuko Hiroto, finishing with impressive figures of 1/4 off her 10 overs.

This debut marked the beginning of an illustrious career. Anisa was soon selected for the West Indies’ tour of India and Pakistan in 2003-04. During this tour, she showcased her talent by taking 2/17 in her fourth international match. Despite a few setbacks, such as the West Indies’ early exit in the 2005 Women’s Cricket World Cup, Anisa’s potential was undeniable.

Return from Hiatus and Rising Stardom

The West Indies women’s cricket team faced a challenging period due to a lack of funding, leading to a hiatus from international play. However, when they returned in 2008, Anisa was ready to make her mark.

During a tour of Europe, Anisa Mohammed participated in the West Indies’ first Twenty20 International match, where they defeated Ireland. Her first wicket in the format came shortly after, with figures of 4/20 against the Netherlands, earning her the player of the match award.

The 2009 Women’s Cricket World Cup in Australia was another milestone for Anisa Mohammed. She played in all three group stage matches and two Super Sixes matches, taking a total of four wickets. Her standout performance came in South Africa, where she took five wickets for just ten runs in a T20I match, becoming only the third player to achieve a five-wicket haul in women’s T20I cricket.

Breaking Records and Making History

Anisa Mohammed’s career is marked by numerous records and historic achievements. In the lead-up to the 2010 ICC Women’s World Twenty20, she delivered remarkable performances against Sri Lanka, including a player of the match award for her all-round contribution in an ODI victory. She continued to shine in the T20I series, taking consecutive four-wicket hauls and leading her team to victory.

During the 2010 ICC Women’s Cricket Challenge, Anisa Mohammed played a crucial role in the West Indies’ success, taking four wickets against Sri Lanka in an ODI and contributing significantly in the T20I series. Her leadership and skill were pivotal in the West Indies’ second-place finish in the ODI series and their triumph in the T20I series.

In 2011, Anisa Mohammed’s dominance was on full display during Pakistan’s tour of the West Indies. She took five wickets in the opening ODI match, followed by another five-wicket haul in the second match.

Her exceptional performance earned her the player of the series award, and she continued her outstanding form in the Women’s Cricket World Cup Qualifier, taking seven wickets for 14 runs in the final against Pakistan.

Continued Excellence and Leadership

Anisa’s excellence on the field has been recognized with numerous accolades and contracts. In 2018, she was awarded a women’s contract by Cricket West Indies (CWI) for the 2018-19 season. She was also named in the West Indies’ squad for the 2018 ICC Women’s World Twenty20 and was highlighted as a player to watch.

Her leadership skills were further acknowledged in 2021 when she was named vice-captain of the West Indies team for the Women’s Cricket World Cup Qualifier tournament in Zimbabwe. She continued in this role for the 2022 Women’s Cricket World Cup in New Zealand, solidifying her position as a key player and leader in the team.

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