Saturday, February 4, 2023

PCB: Diana Baig returns to the side for Australia series and ICC Women’s T20 World Cup

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  • Asmavia Iqbal: “The ODI series against Australia is very crucial, the expectations are high as we have won five of the six ICC Championship matches and our aim is to qualify directly for the 50-over World Cup.
  • “We have relied more on the senior players in the formation of the squad for the World Cup and we expect them to use their experience on the field and get positive results for the team.”

Pakistan national women team’s chief selector Asmavia Iqbal today announced a 15-player squad for next month’s bilateral white-ball series against Australia and for the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup, which will be held in South Africa from 10 February to 26 February.

Bismah Maroof will continue to lead the Pakistan Women’s team in both assignments.  The squads were finalised after deliberations by Asmavia, interim head coach Saleem Jaffer and captain Bismah.

Right-arm fast bowler Diana Baig makes a comeback after missing out in the home series against Ireland in October/November due to a shoulder injury. Spinners Sadia Iqbal and Tuba Hassan are also back in the squads after being ruled out of the Ireland series due to hand and index finger injuries, respectively. Left-arm spinner Sadia is part of the ODI and T20I squads, while leg-spinner Tuba is part of the T20I squad.

Two players – Fatima Sana and Tuba Hassan – will make their maiden appearance for Pakistan in the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup.

Pakistan ODI squad for Australia series:

Bismah Maroof (c), Aliya Riaz, Ayesha Naseem, Diana Baig, Fatima Sana, Ghulam Fatima, Kainat Imtiaz, Muneeba Ali (wk), Nashra Sandhu, Nida Dar, Omaima Sohail, Sadaf Shamas, Sadia Iqbal, Sidra Amin and Sidra Nawaz (wk)

Traveling Reserves: Aimen Anwar, Javeria Khan and Tuba Hassan

Pakistan T20I squad for Australia and ICC Women’s T20 World Cup, South Africa:

Bismah Maroof (c), Aimen Anwar, Aliya Riaz, Ayesha Naseem, Diana Baig, Fatima Sana, Javeria Khan, Muneeba Ali (wk), Nashra Sandhu, Nida Dar, Omaima Sohail, Sadia Iqbal, Sidra Amin, Sidra Nawaz (wk) and Tuba Hassan

Reserves: Ghulam Fatima, Kainat Imtiaz and Sadaf Shamas

Chief selector Asmavia Iqbal: “I wish luck to the players who have been selected for both Australia series and ICC Women’s T20 World Cup. I am hopeful the side will continue to perform in the same manner they have performed recently in the ACC Women’s Asia Cup and Ireland series.

“The ODI series against Australia is very crucial, the expectations are high as we have won five of the six ICC Championship matches and our aim is to qualify directly for the 50-over World Cup.

“We have relied more on the senior players in the formation of the squad for the World Cup and we expect them to use their experience on the field and get positive results for the team.

“The return of Diana Baig, Sadia Iqbal and Tuba Hassan will give a boost to the side and will strengthen our bowling attack which has the capability to do well. Sidra Nawaz has been added as our second wicket-keeper in the squad to give Muneeba Ali some space to express herself more with the bat, and gives an added option to the captain to utilise the services of a second wicket-keeper on the long tour.” 

In the tour Down Under, Pakistan women’s side will feature in three ODIs – part of the ICC Women’s Cricket Championship 2022-25 – and three T20Is. Pakistan will fly out for Brisbane via Dubai from Karachi on 6 January. The three ODIs will be played on 16, 18 and 21 January, while the three T20Is will be held on 24, 26 and 29 January. The team will then travel to South Africa from Melbourne to feature in the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup 2023.

In the marquee event, Pakistan are placed in Group 2 alongside England, India, Ireland and West Indies. Pakistan will play their opening match against arch-rivals India on 12 February at Newlands, Cape Town. They will go against Ireland at the same venue on 15 February. Their third encounter in the group will be against West Indies on 19 February at Boland Park, Paarl, while they will feature against England in their fourth match of the group stage on 21 February at the Newlands, Cape Town.

Pakistan women’s side will undergo training camp which will be held in two phases. The first phase will be staged in Lahore from 25 December to 28 December. On 29 December, the side will travel to Karachi, where they will have the second phase of the camp before departing for Australia on 6 January.

The media advisory of the camp will be shared in due course.

Player Support staff: Ayesha Ashhar (team manager), Saleem Jaffer (bowling coach and interim head coach), Taufiq Umar (batting coach), Mauhtashim Rashid (fielding coach), Yasir Malik (strength and conditioning coach), Muhammad Zubair Ahmad (analyst), Syed Nazir Ahmed (media and digital content manager) and Rifat Gill (physiotherapist).

Australia series Itinerary

16 January – First ODI at Allan Border Field, Brisbane

18 January – Second ODI at Allan Border Field, Brisbane

21 January – Third ODI at North Sydney Oval No.1, North Sydney

24 January – First T20I at North Sydney Oval No.1, North Sydney

26 January – Second T20I at Blundstone Arena, Hobart

29 January – Third T20I at Manuka Oval, Canberra

ICC Women’s T20 World Cup 2023 Pakistan fixtures

12 February v India at Newlands, Cape Town

15 February v Ireland at Newlands, Cape Town

19 February v West Indies at Boland Park, Paarl

21 February v England at Newlands, Cape Town

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