Pakistan on 20th January announced its 15-member squad for the upcoming T20 Women’s World Cup in Australia.
A decision that seems to have taken everyone by surprise is the exclusion of former captain Sana Mir from the squad. The team’s highest wicket-taker in T20s, the 34-year old has featured in every edition of the T20 World Cup till now. An experienced campaigner, the off-break bowler was not exhibiting good form lately which provoked the selectors to look beyond her and gather a relatively younger squad.
Squad: Bismah Maroof (captain), Aimen Anwar, Aliya Riaz, Anam Amin, Ayesha Naseem, Diana Baig, Fatima Sana, Iram Javed, Javeria Khan, Muneeba Ali, Nida Dar, Umaima Sohail, Sadia Iqbal, Sidra Nawaz (wicketkeeper) and Syeda Aroob Shah
1. Bismah Maroof
A seasoned player, the 28-year-old has captained Pakistan in 36 T20 internationals till now. The T20 World Cup will see her lead Pakistan for the first time in a global event.
She is the only batter from Pakistan with the distinction of having more than 2,000 runs in the shorter format of the game. She regularly scalps wickets with her leg-breaks and bowls with an impressive economy of 5.61.
2. Nida Dar
Nida is one of Pakistan’s most experienced players, having made her debut for the national side in a T20I in 2010. She has remained a constant fixture in the international team for much of the last decade and is one of Pakistan’s highest wicket-taker in the T20 format. Last year, she created history by becoming the first Pakistan woman to sign a deal with an international cricket league, playing for Sydney Thunder in the WBBL.
3. Javeria Khan
Having made 200 international appearances for Pakistan, the 31-year-old will form the backbone of Pakistan’s batting unit. The second-highest run-getter for her team across formats, with loads of experience, she might just turn out to be Pakistan’s guiding light in the middle.
4. Anam Amin
An expert with the new-ball, Anam Amin is expected to spearhead the bowling attack. A successful T20 bowler, she boasts of 47 wickets and an economy rate of 5.30 in national colors.
5. Sidra Nawaz
The 25-year-old wicketkeeper batter made her international debut against Australia on 21 August 2014 in a Women’s T20I. She was a part of Pakistan’s squad for the 2018 edition of Women’s World T20 as well.
6. Iram Javed
The 28-year-old has amassed 267 runs in her 31 T20 international appearances so far with a strike rate of around 80. She remains handy with the ball as a backup bowling option.
7. Ayesha Naseem
Uncapped teenager Ayesha Naseem has earned her maiden call-up to the national squad. The young batter, known for her big-hitting prowess holds the rare feat of scoring her runs at a blistering strike rate of 206 during the domestic T20 tournament.
8. Aiman Anwar
Anwer who made her debut in 2016 can be termed an additional pace bowling option in the squad. The 28-year-old has picked up 18 wickets in the 23 international appearances she has made for Pakistan.
9. Muneeba Ali
The left-handed batter, who last played for Pakistan during the 2018 World T20 in the Caribbean, has made a comeback to squad after scoring heavily in the domestic circuit. She amassed a total of 292 runs in the National T20 Triangular Championship at an average of 58.40, including a century and three half-centuries.
10. Aliya Riaz
The all-rounder born in Rawalpindi has made 370 runs and scalped 15 wickets in her 38 T20 international outings in green.
11. Syeda Aroob Shah
The 16-year-old made her international debut for Pakistan, against Bangladesh in November 2019. Just three international matches old, the leggie with her googlies remains a talent to be unearthed.
12. Diana Baig
A medium pacer, with the ability to swing the ball, she has 13 wickets in eighteen T20 internationals and an impressive economy rate of 5.78.
13. Umaima Sohail
The top-order batter has played 20 T20Is for her country with a top score of 43. Last year, she was a new entrant to the central contracts for women players by Pakistan Cricket Board.
14. Sadia Iqbal
The left-arm orthodox spinner made her international debut against Bangladesh last year and has till now managed 4 wickets in the three international matches she has played in her career.
15. Fatima Sana
18-year-old pacer Fatima Sana made her international debut last year against South Africa where she impressed everyone with her fiery bowling. She has 4 T20 international appearances to her name.
Pakistan will kick off their ICC Women’s T20 World Cup 2020 campaign on 26 February against the West Indies Women. They take on England Women on 28 February after which they play South Africa and Thailand Women on March 1 and 3 respectively.