Pakistan’s Multan Sultans, on Wednesday, became the country’s first cricket team to hire a woman bowling coach, signing former Ireland fast bowler Catherine Dalton for next year.

Women have historically struggled to establish themselves in the sporting scene of deeply patriarchal and conservative Pakistan, a nation with a fanatical devotion to cricket.

“It’s not lost on me the ground-breaking moment for a female fast-bowling coach to be working in a major men’s T20 franchise,” Dalton told cricket website ESPNcricinfo.

“I am really thrilled to be officially joining up with the franchise at the PSL.”

The 30-year-old Dalton played four one-day internationals and as many Twenty20 internationals between 2015 and 2016, before moving into coaching roles.

“Catherine has been part of our player development programme for almost five years now and she has worked with numerous first class and PSL players at our academy,” Sultans owner Ali Tareen told AFP.

“I always knew Catherine would become a fast bowling coach at a high level. And I am so glad that her first opportunity came at the Sultans.”

The Multan Sultans are one of six teams that compete in the Pakistan Super League, which was started in 2016.

The ninth edition of the PSL is scheduled to be played in January and February 2024.