Pakistan and T20 have been each other favorites for a long time. The rankings and records show the success run enjoyed by the mighty Pakistanis. They will hope that their women’s team returns home with a memorable and victorious world cup campaign on the Aussie soil.
The women team has a lot to prove to the fans who wish to see them cross the first stage of the tournament for the first time. The 15-member squad, in the light of the upcoming world cup, was announced. Urooj Mumtaz chairing the national women’s selection committee, in a statement issued, stressed that players have made their way into the squad and claimed the spot. Pakistan has a seat reserved in Group B of the tournament alongside heavyweights like England and South Africa.
The first stage shall test the Pakistani team. Think tank has gone with the experience of Bismah Maroof to lead the side. She is, without a doubt, a veteran of women’s cricket playing nearly 100 matches in ODIs and the shortest T20 formats. She has led the national side 36 times with victories in 15 encounters. The assigning of Maroof meant axing of another veteran namely Sana Mir. Her eviction from the side has come as a surprise for fans throughout the globe. She had captained the team from 2013 to 2019 and earned a great place in world cricket. The management cited Sana Mir’s recent performance as the reason for her exclusion.
Bismah Maroof, Aimen Anwar, Aliya Riaz, Anam Amin, Ayesha Naseem, Diana Baig Fatima Sana, Iram Javed, Javeria Khan, Muneeba Ali, Nida Dar, Omaima Sohail, Sadia Iqbal, Sidra Nawaz (WK), Syed Aroob Shah.
It can be argued that the team selection was done in consideration with the Aussie conditions and current form. There were three changes in the squad that lost to England. Naheeda Khan, Ayesha Zafar and Rameem Shamim were replaced by Muneeba Ali and Aimen Anwar along with uncapped Ayesha Naseem. Further, the selection committee has backed young talent. With more established teams balancing newer faces with experience, Pakistan has shown trust in relatively younger faces.
Interestingly, the average age of the team is 24.8 years. Aroob Shah and Ayesha are inspirations for the nation. They are 15 and 16-years making an appearance into World Cup squads.
The first league match for the Pakistani side will be against the Windies firepower. Looking at the past records of the team, the first stage of the tournament will be essential to gain the momentum and the much-needed self-belief. The female side shall walk on the field as a young and raw force with precedence to set. Fans and lovers of the game wish that Pakistan lifts their performance to break boundaries on and off the field.
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A student who enjoys studying cricket more than anything else, keen to learn the insights of the women’s game.