Diana Baig returns as Pakistan announce squads for Australia, T20 World Cup
Bismah Maroof will continue to lead the Pakistan Women’s team in both assignments.
Karachi [Pakistan], December 14 (ANI): Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) on Wednesday have included experienced pacer Diana Baig in their 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.
Chief selector Asmavia Iqbal believes expectations have been raised for the ever-improving Pakistan side and she expects the players chosen to perform with aplomb.
“I wish luck to the players who have been selected for both the 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,” she said in an official statement released by PCB.
“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,” she further stated.
“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,” she added.
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.
Pakistan are drawn in Group 2 alongside England, India, Ireland and West Indies at the Women’s T20 World Cup, with their first match coming against arch-rivals India in Cape Town on February 12.
Pakistan ODI squad for Australia: 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: 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
Travelling Reserves: Ghulam Fatima, Kainat Imtiaz and Sadaf Shamas. (ANI)