Photo Credit: Pakistan Cricket Board
The Bismah Maroof-led Pakistan will start their UK tour campaign tomorrow (Saturday) with the first match of the tri-series against Australia at the Bready Cricket Club, Magheramason. Hosts Ireland are the third team in the tournament that will provide an ideal opportunity to both Pakistan and Australia of solid preparations ahead of the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, later this month.
Pakistan reached Belfast earlier in the week and spent the last two days preparing for the tough tournament opener against the T20 world champions Australia. History is on Australia’s side heading into the match as they have a 100 percent win record against Pakistan with 10 wins from as many matches.
The two sides last competed in a T20I series in 2018 in Malaysia which the Australians won 3-0, while the last T20 encounter between both sides was staged in the ICC Women’s World T20 in the West Indies in November the same year, Australia won that match by 52 runs.
Pakistan though come into the tournament in a confident mode following their 3-0 win over Sri Lanka in the three-match T20I series staged in Karachi last month.
The 15-member squad for the tri-series and Commonwealth Games is full of exciting talent led by youngsters Tuba Hasan and Ayesha Naseem who both made match and series winning contributions against Sri Lanka.
Tuba, the young leg-spinner who was named the player of the series against Sri Lanka in what was her debut series, would be the one to look out for once again. Ayesha is a formidable striker and provides firepower to the batting line-up.
Pakistan team had a 10-day camp in Islamabad before travelling to the UK while head coach David Hemp and the support staff also worked with the players in short specialised camps in Lahore and Karachi in the lead-up to the tour.
As per the tri-series format, Pakistan will play both Australia and Ireland twice, all six tournament matches will be staged at the Bready Cricket Club. The team that finishes on the top of the three-team table at the completion of the six matches will be declared winners.
Pakistan squad: Bismah Maroof (captain), Aimen Anwar, Aliya Riaz, Anam Amin, Ayesha Naseem, Diana Baig, Fatima Sana, Gull Feroza (wicketkeeper), Iram Javed, Kainat Imtiaz, Muneeba Ali Siddiqui (wicketkeeper), Nida Dar, Omaima Sohail, Sadia Iqbal and Tuba Hassan.
Support staff: Ayesha Ashhar (Manager), David Hemp (Head coach), Saleem Jaffer (Bowling coach), Muhammad Zubair Ahmed (Analyst) and Rifat Asghar Gill (Physiotherapist).