Attractive, intelligent, articulate, eloquent, foremost among Hiba Shamshad’s many
admirable qualities these are the characteristics that are proving to be the foundation
for her ongoing emergence as a flag bearer for Canadian Women’s cricket. In her
continuing quest to contribute meaningfully to the further development and promotion
of Canada’s Women’s cricket, Hiba is indisputably setting examples worthy for others to follow!
Born in the United Arab Emirates City of Dubai, Hiba Shamshad started playing street cricket
with her siblings just for fun, when she was merely 5-6 years old. Although her professional
career as a Women’s cricketer in Canada didn’t start until Hiba reached the age of 23,
her interest in the sport has never waned.
Coming from a Pakistani family, cricket was loved by everyone in Hiba’s family
including herself. Hiba’s mom and dad were always very supportive of any
sports she played as a young girl. It was in fact that foundational support that
later motivated Hiba to pursue cricket professionally.
Hiba acknowledges that although Cricket may not as yet be a major Canadian sport
in it is huge within Canada’s significantly large South Asian community. Indeed it was
from that very source that Hiba’s interest and passion for cricket was initially developed.
Not surprisingly, with the number of development opportunities and participation
interest now both on the rise, she optimistically sees cricket as being not that far away
from becoming a major Canadian sport.
Hiba describes cricket as having been one of her greatest life passions for as long as she
has known herself. Although she had stopped playing soon after her arrival in Canada,
she never ceased watching international matches on TV and cheering for her favourite
teams. When she moved to Canada, compared to hockey and basketball, cricket was
not a well-known sport at the school she attended. She did have an involvement in sport
(basketball) through her high school and early university years, but it wasn’t until she
had attended a social cricket event where she met Duriya Shabbir and Suthershini
Sivanantham (Sutha: the name says it all) that her cricket interest was rekindled. Hiba
accredits Duriya and Sutha as being the architects of her involvement as a player
in hardball cricket.
“They are the also the reason why I have continued playing cricket and why my
direct involvement with the sport has gotten to where it is right now. Having
them both as mentors has made a huge difference in my cricketing career!”
Since she first decided back in 2014, to become actively involved as a player, Hiba
Shamshad’s professional career as a gifted left-arm bowling all-rounder has
been outstanding. She started playing for Tranzac CC back then and has since
played numerous tournaments and won many accolades. She was selected
for Team Ontario for the Atlanta Tournament in 2015, her splendid performance
resulting in selection to the Canada XI against the MCC (Marylebone Cricket
Hiba also represented Canada in the 2019 U-19 West Indies Tournament and as well at the ICC Americas World Cup
Qualifiers against the USA later that year. Not surprisingly, along with being an amazing player, Hiba has also emerged
as a leader as well, serving as Captain for the Streetsville Storms in the Mississauga Women’s League’s Inaugural
Season at the end of which they emerged as champions. She was also the Tranzac Cricket Club’s Vice-Captain during
the Scarborough Women’s League’s 2018-19 Season. Seeking to share her passion, skills and experience with younger
Women’s cricketers and to encourage the further development of the sport, Hiba has also served as the Assistant Coach
of the EOSCL Milton Girls U-12 Team.
Arguably though, the highlight of her career to date would have been her participation in the 2018 Trinidad & Tobago
hosted Courts Grand Slam T20. She was one of only four Canadians invited to participate in the Tournament, which
involved other players from the Caribbean, including many of the West Indies Women’s cricket stars, captain Stephanie
Taylor and Deandra Dottin among them.
As she looks back now on how her career as a Canadian women’s cricketer has evolved, Hiba admits that there a few
things she could have done differently. Hindsight has allowed her both the realization and appreciation that during the
early stages of her involvement a better understanding on her part of the importance of interactions with international
players would have positively impacted both her career and personal development as a player. She feels she should
have found more opportunities to continue these interactions because that currently plays an important role in the
cricketing world and that it will also continue building Canada’s reputation in international cricket.
For young ladies who may be inspired by her story to become involved in cricket, Hiba readily offers some sage advice
that they can consider adopting as a means of fast tracking their careers. She suggests that it doesn’t matter the exact
level that they are staring off at, what matters most instead is how much passion they have towards the game. “If you
have the passion, nothing can stop you. Believe in yourself, keep going at it and you will notice how far you have come
from where you started!”
As a National player who has come through the ranks and seen it all, Hiba also has some prudent suggestions towards
the further development and promotion of Canadian women’s cricket. She advocates that the two things that are now
most urgently needed to further development are more competitive tournaments (Domestic or International) and year round training camps. These two key changes, she says, will continue to improve our National players’ skills levels, while
simultaneously increasing the interest level among younger girls from different regions of the country!
Now in her early thirties and seemingly in the twilight years of her career as a National cricketer, Hiba however still has
some concrete goals she would like to achieve before her playing days are actually over. As other associate nations
such as Thailand, Argentina, Japan, USA and many more have continued to improve and expand their footprint in
world of cricket, Hiba ardently believes that the time has now come for Canada to also do the same. Her goal is to help take our National team to an international level where countries like England, Australia and India would welcome
being involved in competitive matches against Canada. Specifically, she wants Canada to be among the top 7 teams
listed in the rankings system.
Towards that end on a personal and individual level, Hiba hopes to attend as many training camps as possible in
order to improve her skills set and be able to give consistent outstanding performances on the international stage.
Attractive, intelligent, articulate, eloquent, to all of which ambitious should now also be added. With such outstanding
attributes and as dedicated and committed as she has proven herself to be, Hiba Shamshad is indeed setting most
worthy examples for others to follow!
TELL ALL TAKE10
1. What is the most enjoyable food you have discovered as a result of
your overseas travels as a Canadian Cricketer?
Bake & Shark, Doubles – Trinidad (WI)
2. As a kid what was your favorite after cricket match snack?
Pita bread & Hummus
3. Which of your fellow Canadian teammates do you chat
with the most about cricket?
Pretty much with everyone. KB( Maliha), Kamna & Mahrukh
to name a few.
4. Who among your Team Canada teammates is the most
stats conscious? Fully knowledgeable of their own stats?
5. Which APP do you use the most on your phone?
Power Director for video editing and LinkedIn (recently)
6. If you went to dinner with some of your fellow Team
Canada teammates, who would be the first to offer to pay
the entire bill?
Kamna for sure would be the first one. lol
7. Who would be the last to offer to pay?
LOL I better not answer this or I will be in deep trouble Ha
8. If you were to form a music singing group from among
you Team Canada teammates which two would you
choose to join you first?
Maliha Baig & Miryam – They both have a beautiful voice
9. Who would win a 100M sprint if all your Team Canada
Teammates were competing in the race?
Maliha & Achini for sure
10. Who among your Team Canada mates do you think is the
most fitness conscious?
Have you met Maliha??? LOL It is definitely her
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