Pakistan ready to shine during ICC T20 Women’s World Cup in Sydney
Featured photo credit: @t20worldcup / Instagram
The Pakistan women’s cricket team are prepared to impress their fans when they land in Sydney to play two matches against South Africa and Thailand in the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup.
Pakistan began their Group B campaign with an impressive win against the 2016 winners West Indies at the Manuka Oval in Canberra on Wednesday.
The Pakistan team had a first-round exit in 2018 and experienced all-rounder Aliya Riaz is hoping the local Pakistani community will come out and support their young team in the crucial Sydney matches.
Riaz is the spearhead of the Pakistan bowling attack and shared her dream with SBS Urdu: “My message to the Pakistani community is to support the women’s cricket team just like they support the men’s cricket team,”
“We need their support and the more they support us the more we will be motivated to perform on the ground.”
According to Riaz her team is both prepared and optimistic:
We have worked on power-hitting in batting while in bowling we are trying different variations. The team is in much better shape for the World Cup and we are quite hopeful that we will qualify for the next round.
Photo credit: @t20worldcup / Instagram
Pakistan’s 15-member squad boasts an exciting blend of young and senior players and is led by captain Bismah Maroof whose experience will be crucial. She is the only batter in the Pakistan team to have scored more than 2000 runs in T20 internationals including 11 half centuries.
Maroof first played for Pakistan at the age of 15 and is also an asset to the team as a bowler having taken 36 wickets in her international T20 career.
Speaking on her team’s form and player mix Maroof said:
We have tried to strike the right balance of youth and senior players. We have been playing good cricket and the selectors have selected a squad which has the potential to have an impressive run at the World Cup.
Maroof will be supported at the crease by Nida Dar, who has scored over 1000 international T20 runs. Dar gained valuable experience of local conditions when she made history by becoming the first woman from Pakistan to play professionally in an international league, performing strongly for the Sydney Thunder in Australia’s Women’s Big Bash League.
Dar was the standout player for Pakistan in the 2018 T20 World Cup and hopes to also deliver with the ball and utilise her ability to put pressure on the opposing team’s batters with her economical bowling.
In form batter Muneeba Ali will be hoping to continue her rich vein of form she displayed in the recent Pakistan Tri-nation series in which she scored 292 runs including three fifties and the first ever century by a Pakistani woman in an official T20 match.
Pakistan’s bowlers are also looking to deliver for their captain including the experienced Anam Armin who has taken 47 wickets for her country since her debut in 2014 and brings great skill and determination.
Pakistan fans hope the experienced Pakistan players will inspire the squad’s young players including Aroob Shah, a 16-year-old leg-spinner and Ayesha Naseem, a 16-year-old hard hitting batter.
Urooj Mumtaz, the chair of the national women’s selection committee, said: “The Pakistan women’s national team’s performance graph has been on the rise and this tournament serves a perfect opportunity to this evolving unit to showcase its talent as we aim to continue to move women’s cricket forward and look towards the future.”
Bismah Maroof (captain), 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 (wicketkeeper) and Syeda Aroob Shah
Upcoming fixtures in Sydney:
1 March – South Africa v Pakistan, 3pm (local)
3 March – Pakistan v Thailand, 3pm (local)
Venue: Sydney Showground Stadium, Sydney Olympic Park, Homebush