Aliya Riaz’s story of her cricketing career is similar to many female Pakistani cricketers’ story. She was always a big fan of cricket and wanted to play the game. However, she didn’t find many female friends interested in the game. As a result, she started playing with the boys. Though her father didn’t have much of a problem with it, one of her brothers was not a big fan of seeing her sister as a cricketer.
The brother in question, was also a big fan of the game. His friends often used to taunt him by saying how his sister plays with the boys, and these taunts were further conveyed to the other family members. But Riaz never listened to any of it, and went to play the game everyday. She continued playing cricket in college, where she stood out as one of the best performers.
Riaz’s equation with her family members was simple. They didn’t have any issue with her knack of cricket, but they would allow it on one condition – the academics shouldn’t be hampered. Hence, Riaz not only became the best amongst her peers in cricket, she was also a fairly decent student.
Early Life & Major Teams
Riaz was born on September 24, 1992 at Rawalpindi, Punjab. She later went for higher studies in Islamabad. She has repsented Higher Education Commission Women and Rawalpindi Under-19s Women. She has also played for Knights Women, PCB Blasters, Federal Capital Women, State Bank of Pakistan Women, Rawalpindi Women, Zarai Taraqiati Bank Limited Women and PCB Dolphins.
PCB’s website states that Riaz’s first T20 game was on 3rd December, 2010 at PCB National Under-19 Women’s Championship 2010/11. Playing for Rawalpindi Under-19s Women, she scored 11 runs with the bat. Unfortunately for her, she got to bowl only one over. Her List A debut came at the Mohtarma Fatima Jinnah Women Cricket Championship Seniors 2014. This time also, she got to bowl only one over, and didn’t get a chance to bat.
Aliya Riaz got her international debut in August, 2o14 against Australia Women at Brisbane. In that match, she scored 4 runs with the bat, and didn’t get a chance to roll her arms. Her T20I debut came a week later against the same opposition. In the match that was played at Gold Coast, she scored only 1 run with the bat. Once again, she didn’t get a chance to bowl. She has played in the 2018 ICC Women’s World Twenty20 in West Indies.
Stats and Quotes
In the 27 ODI matches she has played so far, she has scored 409 runs at an average of just under 20 and a strike rate of over 60. She has also picked up 7 wickets. She has picked up 15 wickets in 38 T20Is, and has scored 370 runs at an average of over 15 and a strike rate of just less than 90.
Pakistan is planning to use her as a pinch hitter. Speaking to Geo TV, she has said “We are working hard on power hitting and practicing on cement wickets as well to improve our power hitting. I am an all-rounder. I want to do well with bat and ball for my team and that’s my target in the World Cup. Maybe that can also help me achieve a record of quickest fifty or a quickest hundred, but more than that, I want to bat with higher strike rate every time I am in middle for my team.”
Regarding the upcoming Women’s World T20, she said “I am excited about the World Cup. I have experience of playing a World Cup in the past and I will try to use my experience and apply what I’ve learned from my past participation to do well for the country.”