The defending champions of the Pakistan Super League (PSL), Lahore Qalandars, after a successful run of the Player Development Programme (PDP) for the men, the franchise has announced an expansion of the PDP to include women cricketers in the mix. The franchise is set to launch an open trial on the 18th of October, 2022 in Lahore and then at Rawalpindi, Abbottabad and Gilgit.
The initiative aims to pick a team of 22 women players who will be offered a year-long contract and will be nurtured. For the women’s programme, the Sports Board of Punjab is set to partner with the Qalandars in providing boarding and lodging for women based in Lahore. Qalandars also have got a partnership in place with Australia’s Big Bash League that sees promising players advance to featuring in the league and Haris Rauf is a prime example of the same.
Pakistan Super League franchise, Lahore Qalandar signed an MoU with Punjab Sports Board on Monday to develop women’s cricket talent for the country.#CricketTwitter #teampakistan pic.twitter.com/FoqU5Jib38
— Female Cricket (@imfemalecricket) October 19, 2022
The domestic women cricketers had only a couple of tournaments in place with 3 teams each featuring in the National T20 and ODI Challenge Cups. The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) recently added a third competition to the mix with the U19 tournament that successfully was completed months back.
The Pakistan women’s team on the international scene have put up a string of very disappointing performances, but of late, has also managed to bring out their best. The side registered a series win against Sri Lanka at home and during the side’s most recent outing in the 8th edition of the Asia Cup, the team had an impressive run.
The initiative from Lahore Qalandars is a welcoming one for women’s cricket in Pakistan and the program is just what Pakistan women’s cricket now needs to stabilize their performance graph. The PCB also announced the launch of the highly-awaited, Women’s T20 league, that’ll have its inaugural edition run alongside next year’s Pakistan Super League (PSL).
With the Women’s T20 League set to get underway and only expand with time, there now for sure won’t be a scarcity of opportunities and with development programmes like the Lahore Qalandars running camps, if continued with more franchises hopefully joining in following suit, the next big step with the shift in templet and betterment of quality that the Pakistan women’s team is currently lacking will forever be buried.