Women’s selection committee announces Pakistan squads for England series
Pakistan women's selection committee has announced the squads for England series - part of ICC Women's Championship - that is set to kick off in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia from December 9.
Urooj Mumtaz, former player and the incumbent chairwoman of selectors, has roped in four new players for the all-important championship. Kaynat Hafeez and Rameen Shamim have found a spot for the first time in the national team.
Sana Mir is a notable omission from the squad as she took an indefinite break from cricket recently and Iram Javed, Kainat Imtiaz and Sadia Iqbal have been left out of the squad.
Reshuffle in the Twenty20 squad is also observed as the teenager leggie Aroob Shah has made a surprise entry in the national team after a successful debut against Bangladesh of late which has landed her a spot in the team for the crucial series against England.
Fatima Sana and Rameen will be doing the national duties after a hiatus as they didn't feature in Pakistan's last T20I series against Bangladesh owing to their participation in the Emerging Women's Teams Cup that clashed with the fixture in Lahore.
Pakistan has got a wonderful opportunity to directly qualify for the 2021 Women's Cricket World Cup in New Zealand if they manage to outfox strong England side in the three ODIs. So far in the championship, green shirts have tasted victory in seven matches and lost the same number of games with one match ending in a draw.
At the end of the two-year-long event - which will end in 2020 -, top four sides will join the hosts in the forthcoming marquee tournament. Every team is eyeing the World Cup and preparing to clinch the prized trophy.
“The two squads have been put together after considering recent performances in international and domestic events," said Urooj.
“A series against a quality side like England always brings challenges and we have put together these combinations keeping that in mind.
Urooj had to face a selection dilemma due to a surge in players pool and an increase in competition for places — which is a good omen for women's cricket.
“With the gradual increase in the player pool and quality cricketers coming up the ranks, it was not the easiest of selections.
"While some youngsters have received call-ups, it was difficult to leave others out of the squad. It is brilliant to see healthy competitions within the group as they push each other to strive for excellence, increasing the overall standard of the team.
The chair of the selection committee has high hopes from the team that has a nice mix of exuberant youngsters and seasoned campaigners in the shape of skipper Bismah Maroof and Nida Dar.
“Pakistan has done well in the ICC Women's Championship. And, after a good start that they have had to the ongoing season by beating Bangladesh in the T20I series and leveling the one-day series, we are confident that the series against England is going to be exciting," added Urooj.
Pakistan's national women’s team will leave for Malaysia on November 30 from Karachi.
T20Is: Bismah Maroof (captain), Aliya Riaz, Anam Amin, Aroob Shah, Ayesha Zafar, Diana Baig, Fatima Sana, Iram Javed, Javeria Khan, Nahida Khan, Nida Dar, Omaima Sohail, Rameen Shamim, Sadia Iqbal and Sidra Nawaz (wicketkeeper)