Women in Sport: Shabnim Ismail

As August is Women’s Month we are celebrating women in sport. Today we celebrate another of our cricket ladies, Shabnim Ismail.

Shabnim Ismail is a right-arm fast-bowler. She is one of the fastest female bowlers in the world. One of her deliveries in January 2016 was recorded at 128 kilometres per hour. Ismail is South Africa’s all-time leading wicket-taker in both One Day International and T20 formats. She has taken 130 wickets in the 92 ODIs that she has played. Ismail has taken 80 wickets in the 75 T20 Internationals that she has played.

Shabnim Ismail



We asked some of the current Proteas Women about the challenges of being a sportswomen and other interesting things. Here are Shabnim Ismail’s answers.

Q. As a Women’s cricketer you have faced many challenges in your career. What have been your toughest challenges so far and how have you overcome them?

A. One of the challenges definitely was that we weren’t getting paid in the past for playing cricket. Now that we are being paid it just becomes more professional. It’s basically our job, so that is definitely something we have overcome over the past couple of years which has been great and I am really grateful that CSA could actually put that in play for the women cricketers to get paid. So for the youngsters coming through, they can see that you can make a living out of cricket. Being a woman in sport, that is something that you can make a living out of.

Q. What are the biggest challenges that you continue to face as a professional sportswomen?

A. I think we all know this one. It is obviously a male dominated sport. For us as women we never got paid in past years. Now that we are getting paid we have medical aid so that is one big challenge that definitely has been changed and that is a good thing.

Shabnim Ismail


Q. What are your greatest achievements so far in your career?

A. Definitely being named Sportswomen of the Year in 2015. Also being named the 2018/2019 T20 Women’s Cricketer of the Year. Those are my greatest achievements so far.

Q. Who do you look up to as a woman and why?

A. I’d definitely say my mom. She is my role model, my rock, my superstar. We are 7 kids. Just the way she brought us up as kids and made me the strong person that I am today. I’d definitely say that my mom is my role model. She is definitely my rock.

Shabnim Ismail


Q. What would you like to achieve in the coming year as an individual player? And what would you like the team to achieve?

A. For me I’d definitely like to be in the top 3 rankings in the world in both the T20 and the ODI formats. And become an all-rounder, so obviously to take my batting more seriously. For the team I’d like for us to win the T20 World Cup coming up in February. I know that us as a team, we can do it. So I’m really looking forward to that.

Q. What is your favourite quote?

“Live you dream.” I always tell the youngsters in the world and all the upcoming women cricketers to live the dream.