Teams Played For
Gauteng Women, South Africa Women, Western Province Women
The all-time highest wicket-taker for South Africa in international cricket, Shabnim Ismail has been the stalwart of the Proteas team for the past 14 years.
The tall right-arm fast bowler has been pivotal to the success of the South Africa women’s team and is a vital cog of their bowling attack.
The pacer made her international debut in their ODI series against Pakistan in 2007, and in the very same year made her Test debut in the only Test match of the series against the Netherlands. She picked up 3 wickets in the entire match and impressed everyone with her accurate line and length.
In a World Cup qualifier game against the Netherlands in 2011, Ismail was at her menacing best, picking up 6 for 10 as the Dutch were bundled out for a mere 36.
Her career was marred with controversy in 2014 when she was briefly suspended from the National Academy for alcohol-related issues. However, the following year Ismail was nominated for the South African 'Sportswoman of the Year' award, but she narrowly missed out to road cyclist Ashleigh Moolman.
Ismail was part of the inaugural edition of the Women’s Cricket Super League in England. She finished the tournament with 6 wickets in the 5 matches that she played.
She was drafted in the South African squad for the 2016 Women’s World T20I held in India. By Ismail’s standard, she had a tournament to forget, scalping only 3 wickets in the four matches she played, at an economy of just over 6.
Ismail continued to perform heavily for her team and four years later when the Women’s World T20 tournament took place in Australia, Ismail was one of the stars of her team that reached the semi-finals. She took 5 wickets in four matches at an economy, fewer than 6 runs per over.
In January 2021, she became the fourth bowler to take 100 wickets in T20I’s, and in the ODI series against India in March 2021, she became the first bowler from South Africa to take 150 ODI wickets.
Ismail has arguably been South Africa’s best women’s player for over a decade now. A great ambassador for the game, Ismail has been the backbone of the Proteas pace attack, and now in the twilight of her career, Ismail will look to nurture the youngsters to prepare them for the future.
(As of Mar 2021)